Prayer

Belief is not a word I’d ever use
(I’m not called Tom for nothing. Rule of thumb:
own eyes must see, own hands touch). But I’ve come
to understand prayer’s habit can produce
an inner space and strength.  Therefore this truce
(which if you’ve signed must be your minimum),
even if just a cop-out way to numb
my doubting mind, a call-it-quits excuse –

I’ll live as though I’m certain you exist;
I’ll keep on praying, whether or not you’re there,
not running down the long (you’d know it) list
of all I want; and put my questionnaire
aside, my aspiration for a final twist:
that these lines register somehow, somewhere.


First published in The Haiku Quarterly