I’m honored to have had a prose poem published today by the good folks over at 433 Mag. This piece started out as a #CollageCreativeChallenge and later morphed into something that expressed the anguish I feel over the disproportionate effect of the pandemic on the working class and communities of color. This, evidently, also includes members of my own family as well as friends of mine.
To me, this piece of writing is a prayer in the purest sense of the word: when the world is still on fire, those you love most must weather the flames because money must be made, bills must be paid. This poem is a prayer to the higher power, whatever that means to you, to watch over those who cannot work from home and who are absolutely essential. Or who are living on the margin and must venture out to feed their families. May they stay healthy and may they be blessed with joys.
Hope you all enjoy it. You can check out my piece on the 433 website, or you can read it below.
If you liked it, won’t you please help me share it widely?
A WORKING CLASS PRAYER
for my father, who wakes up in the dark, and who through storm or errant sickness must still ferry strangers to whomever may be waiting for them on the other side. for my mother, who must don vest and nametag to serve hungry crowds that bite with uncovered maws:
steel their uncured faults, enclose them within your walls;
plant in their garden flowers of joy instead of ashen woe.
for my grandmother, who crossed deserts with naked feet and who once challenged the moon to a shouting match. for my abuelo, who crouched in his dark hut and whose tired fingers turned leather into what gringos called souvenirs but which were to us simply gifts:
permit gray fingers to remain remembered forever;
let them unburdened find their way back to you.
for my sister, mother of three and teacher of all things pure as well as practical, our alchemist manqué: a fistful of cash becomes food for a week, even if she must sometimes go hungry. for my brother, who’s lost faith along with his job and whose stony dread sleeps cold and permanent in the pit of his being:
may they drink deeply of hope and nourish their every hunger.
grant them too safe passage and etch into their hearts your wisdom.
for my brown nephews, children of mine in all but name, who now shelter in place against a predator unseen: outside the young sun beckons, while their feverish father scrubs toilets and wipes sullied windows:
give them a world (please) washed clean
and protect them from invisibility:
for to die one must first be unseen