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Another Kind of Prayer: 3 poems by Sally Rosenthal


Photograph of a dog, a black Labrador retriever with kind, gentle eyes, lying down next to a green ball, image by Rebecca Humann, on Pixabay.















Labrador retriever, image by Rebecca Humann, on Pixabay




TIME’S GIFT

Mid-morning, the rituals of prayer

and chores done, I sit nestled

in silence, grateful for time

to sift floating half-formed ideas

as they filter into cohesive themes.

I sort and juggle dancing words

that skip into place by their own volition

or, through grace,

into poems that pierce the quiet.


*



STEPPING INTO HOLY


An unlikely cast of characters,

we gather in a nursing home room

as we play our human and canine parts,

beeping equipment the sonorous score

of the last act of a dying woman’s life.

Honoring her wish to see dogs

before cancer carries her far from

the antiseptic smell that cannot mask

the odor of decay and fear,

my husband and I wear hospice tags

and have brought our Labradors who cuddle

beside her as she beams with gratitude.

Forming a circle of compassion, we are

held, for one exquisite moment, on eternity’s threshold.




*

ANOTHER KIND OF PRAYER

This morning, with my husband dead four years,

no words of prayerful thanks come,

the daily gratitudes stick in my throat,

lodged between a bout of grief and unexpected anger.

Normally nourishing, silence offers no repast,

and the day ahead echoes with emptiness.

“Take all of this!” I barter defiantly

with a deity I hope still listens

to another kind of prayer.



_______________________




Sally Rosenthal, a former college librarian and occupational therapist, is the author of Peonies In Winter: A Journey Through Loss, Grief, And Healing. Available at Apple

Books Peonies in Winter: A Journey Through Loss, Grief, and Healing (Unabridged) on Apple Books Also available at audible.com and Amazon. A poet and book reviewer,

Sally lives in Philadelphia, PA, where she listens for words in the silence of the everyday.






October 2023 Issue

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