Bedtime Prayers
by Russell Rowland



My eyelids blink open—in
total darkness, at age six—

Did I, or did I not, remember
Uncle Karl in bedtime prayer,

litany on my knees, beginning
God bless Mommy, God bless
Daddy, God bless Brother—
and so on, down the list?

Cheeks burn against the pillow.
Does God take postscripts? No:
His office in Paradise is closed,

and Uncle will be on that flight
to Chicago ere tomorrow night.

God’s middle finger could point
at the plane like a lightning bolt
for such negligence—my fault.

I trudge to North Newington
School in the morning, slowed
by the weight of homework and
responsibilities of beatitude.





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