As if you erupted from an eternal spring, an immortal thing, I gave you away when last I prayed here at Chimayo. When kneeling I scooped the healing dirt as I spoke silent prayers of thanks for my heart bravely facing shocks of resuscitation after years spent barely beating in stuttering grief. Upon return today, I kneel to scoop the healing dirt, asking in silent prayer a blessing of forgiveness for giving you away too easily— thus, killing you, bleeding you of all hope, beyond resurrection, beyond resuscitation. In the dirt of Chimayo, this healing earth, from this place of faith, sifted through my hands, I bury you, a mortal thing, I gave away too easily to an undeserving faith, in this dirt of Chimayo.
Written in response to:
Don’t. Don’t tell me to pray.
For years, I have every day.
All that I am I’ve offered as a prayer.
Every breath. Every bite of food.
Every step. Counting pennies,
Dollars. It’s all the same.
I’ve whispered, I’ve mumbled,
I’ve chanted, I’ve silently said
All my prayers for you, for myself,
For my dog, for my daughter,
For my grandchildren yet unborn,
For the world that couldn’t give a damn.
Yes, I’ve fucking prayed for us all.
I’ve prayed while driving
With each rotation of the tires.
I’ve prayed oceans of prayers.
Prayed from here to there
In lines of crispy breadcrumb trails
Eaten by the birds for whom,
Yes, I’ve prayed too.
So, what more am I to do?
I’ve prayed in churches, in houses,
In an apartment, along the nature paths,
On walks, on runs. I’ve prayed.
I prayed in the sun, the rain,
I screamed at God during a thunderstorm,
When thunder drowned my screams
And lightning did threaten
To shut my damn mouth.
Yet I prayed. And still even in this,
I do pray with these words
Though they’ve earned no answer
Yet, so don’t entreat me to pray
This damn pandemic away.
I still do pray in every single way,