Prayer

The windshield’s dirty, the squirter stuff’s all gone, so
we drive on together into a sun-gray pane of grime
and dust. My son

puts the passenger seat back as far as it will go, closes
his eyes. I crack my window open for a bit
of fresher air. It’s so


incredibly fresh out there.


Rain, over.
Puddles left
in ditches. Black mirrors with our passing


reflected in them, I suppose, but I’d
have to pull over and kneel down at the side
of the road to know.


The day ahead—


for this, the radio
doesn’t need to be played.
The house we used to live in


still exists
in a snapshot, in which
it yellows in another family’s scrapbook.


And a man on a bicycle
rides beside us
for a long time, very swiftly, until finally


he can’t keep up—


but before he slips
behind us, he salutes us
with his left hand—


a reminder:


that every single second—
that every prisoner on death row—
that every name on every tombstone—


that everywhere we go—
that every day, like this one, will
be like every other, having never been, never


ending. So
thank you. And, oh—
I almost forgot to say it: amen.


Read on . . .

Riddle,” a poem by Laura Kasischke


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