Thank you, Mary

for sitting with me this morning.

for asking me in a whisper to take note of the way things seem to be.

To feel the way the sheets feel when I rub them between my toes.

To notice the way the snow presses against the window, holding it tightly.

To take note of how my coffee feels when it passes through my lips, past my teeth, across my tongue and down my throat.

To follow the ink from my pen across the empty space of my notebook.

I suppose by paying very close, close, close attention to the way things are, I am able to find beauty and clarity in my morning.

This morning isn’t any different than any other morning.

But maybe it is.

“The world did not have to be beautiful to work. But it is.”

I don’t know where prayers go,
or what they do.
Do cats pray, while they sleep
half-asleep in the sun?
Does the opossum pray as it
crosses the street?
The sunflowers? The old black oak
growing older every year?
I know I can walk through the world,
along the shore or under the trees,
with my mind filled with things
of little importance, in full
self-attendance.  A condition I can’t really
call being alive.
Is a prayer a gift, or a petition,
or does it matter?
The sunflowers blaze, maybe that’s their way.
Maybe the cats are sound asleep.  Maybe not.

While I was thinking this I happened to be standing
just outside my door, with my notebook open,
which is the way I begin every morning.
Then a wren in the privet began to sing.
He was positively drenched in enthusiasm,
I don’t know why.  And yet, why not.
I wouldn’t pursuade you from whatever you believe
or whatever you don’t.  That’s your business.
But I t hought, of the wren’s singing, what could this be
if it isn’t a prayer?
So I just listened, my pen in the air

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