Poem a Day: 4


I don’t know how to pray.

I once found a bible tucked away on a shelf in a backroom in our basement,
and unzipped its black cover to
sneak a few peeks. My father was taught
by nuns, St. Aloysius,
fish Fridays, communion, but
only baptized us out of

Sundays he would pack sesame snaps, granola bars and juice boxes
into brown paper bags,
take us walking in marshland, meadow, forest,
Elk Island, Hawrelark Park, Clifford E. Lee Nature
Sanctuary, make us stop and wait while he thumbed well-worn pages of
his plant id book, to the songs of
chickadees. We’d drag our feet down aspen aisles, only drawn forwards
by the promise of
McDonald’s afterwards.

He never taught us to sit still through mass

but he taught us to be quiet,
to sit with our backs to the hill and eyes on the river,
to kneel beneath branches among pine needles and ladybugs,
to stand still
and stare up in awe at Big Dipper, Cassiopeia, Orion.


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