A Sunday Poem

The Lord’s Prayer

And now,
as our savior Christ has taught us,
we are bold to say:

A chubby hand reaches for mine
and curls around my index finger.
A timid voice follows the cadence of the prayer,
though unfamiliar with the words.

Our Father, who art in heaven
hallowed be thy name.

My left index finger is claimed by a small hand,
my right hand held firmly
and swung exuberantly to the pulse of the prayer.

Thy kingdom come, thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.

I reach for a hand,
because the little one does not know it is time,
and my third grader will not touch me
in this great moment of powerful unity,
because of a slight I have committed this morn.

Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us.

All four small hands are behind the organ,
wiggling and giggling
with the other children in their choir robes.
There is no hand for me to hold,
so I clutch my book,
close my eyes,
and lift my face to God.

And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

The hands are no longer little;
my son’s now dwarf my own.
The people behind those hands
are too smart for church now,
too cool for God,
perhaps too aware of their weakness,
sin —
the very reasons I am here.
The lady to my left is sweet,
and the couple in the pew to my right is nice,
but will they hold my hand?
Me —
keenly alone,
in this great moment of powerful unity?

For thine is the kingdom,
and the power,
and the glory,
for ever and ever.



3 thoughts on “A Sunday Poem

  1. Wow, I thought I left a comment here already–and I was going to nominate this for Wednestival but missed the deadline.

    Thank you for a moving and appealing gloss on a prayer I have generally, at best, tolerated…and whose familiarity probably makes into a bit of a blur even for people without father issues.


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