While Aunt Irene kneels at the coffin

I stare, clutch a hymnal, revert finally 
to a prayer that the casket will not tip,

spill my mother to the stone floor. Light 
from stained glass marks the backs of pews

and I decide to continue to pray, so right away 
I ask that the Brussel sprouts in my garden curl

their small heads in that tender spot against
the stalk, safe from cutworms, cabbage worms, 

the diamond-backed moth. I pray 
for a pen that doesn’t leak, for a closed tent

in the forest of rain. Someone coughs.
Asking for health would be fruitless, I think. 

Cells die everyday in the millions, sloughing off
in waves, an invisible trembling spray. Instead

I pray now that the radiator leak in the car
won’t get worse, that I can make the drive

north without a quilt of worry over my shoulders.
I pray for a closed tent in the forest of rain. 

For my cats to always lie on sunny paws, 
for the red globes of tomato to survive the fall.

Tinderbox Poetry Journal
Volume 4  Issue 4