Praying for the Dead
Jeanne Murray Walker (bio)

      To God all time is present.

Feel it in your arms, the man in the boat
out there, rowing toward shore? The whoosh of quail.
A shot, then his retriever swimming out.
I’ve put my father on this lake in fall,
now that I know a thing or two, so I can spend
the kind of love on him that you could call
motherly. As his heart falters, I send
this life preserver, dash this quick email
of a prayer from this messy shore, my desk.
God got the memo, way back then, I swear,
when I was two: his heart didn’t fail.

And look, there’s Jesus, pondering what to ask,
what he can let go, what he must keep,
before they bring the nails. This is a prayer
that he finds peace before he yields to sleep.



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