On Praying

Cliff Williams

I do not pray very well in churches.

When I need to pray,

I put on old boots and dark clothes,

Take a piece of cardboard, folded up,

And drive to a freight train yard.

There I find an empty boxcar

And, laying out my cardboard, sit or lie.

Words come slowly or not at all—

Mostly feelings or desires,

Sometimes vague longings.

No one knows where I am

Except the one toward whom

The longings are directed.

After an hour I fold my cardboard

And find my way out of the yard.

Later, when I am in church,

I pray when others pray

But not with them

Or with their words.

© 2007 by Cliff Williams. Published in The Penwood Review (Fall, 2007), 19

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