Prayer for a November Morning
Frost glosses drought grass.
The stray cat waits on the porch
for a handout. The house wren sings
its T-shirt song. The little blue spruce
we planted last Christmas is dying,
needles gone except for one green
branch that reaches out like an orphan.
What do I pray for this morning:
to be a better husband, brother,
teacher? To be kinder, selfless?
For Ray, my neighbor, stationed
north of Baghdad? For families
of the five marines killed Tuesday?
For families of the forty pilgrims
bombed at a burned-out Mosque?
For hurricane victims who lost
their homes and jobs? For under-
standing of terms like bad intelligence?
(Dare I say it?) For thousands
maimed in the sweet name of liberty?
I silence late night news
that invaded sleep, and feed
the cat that rubs her face
in my hand. I watch golden
maple leaves shutter in the wind
and bow my head.