Prayer
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Prayer

“Mother, with your rebozo of cloud / wrapped around your shoulders in tatters, / hear me, my candles are lit.” Asking Mother Earth for forgiveness, poet Ruth Nakamura laments the harm humans have caused the planet.

Prayer

“Mother, with your rebozo of cloud / wrapped around your shoulders in tatters, / hear me, my candles are lit.” Asking Mother Earth for forgiveness, poet Ruth Nakamura laments the harm humans have caused the planet.

MOTHER, WITH YOUR rebozo of cloud 

wrapped around your shoulders in tatters,

hear me, my candles are lit.  

In all the windows of my house 

a flame burns, 

blue tealights invite you to settle here awhile.


Tierra sagrada, 

your last children are almost ghosts, bone, 

spirits like skeins loosening,

the hold of their footprints on the land

evaporates in the sun.

Javan rhinoceros, vaquita, mountain gorilla, snow leopard,

in each country the list is shameful,

in each oyamel there are fewer tiger-flamed butterflies 

 

yet if we listen 


we can hear them fling their songs 

through the remaining trees, 

around the hollows of your body,

its mountain roots, gemmed, its dry riverbeds, its ocean cradles,

though this vast, intricate cathedral

has been lit with heat, fire opal.

Like what you’re reading?

Mother, I am sorry

we are a people 

that haunts you,

phantom parasites,

our fingers caress metals, plastics, papers,

we sting with pesticides, 

our bodies are graffiti in an acid rain war zone, 

we have forgotten

your languages, 

the tie between us,

we have entered the concrete halls of the dead,

our hearts mummified, 

dried up things, atomic shadows.


Mother, show us, open us,

let us remember our Eden-flower minds. 

When the geese fly overhead,

their call a spool of crimson from the first dawn, 

may something long forgotten stir within us,

become the thin unbroken trail

we follow back to you.

Find Ruth Nakamura’s poetry collection, Crow Moon, in Ofrenda’s Bookshop. (Co-authored by Anna Griego.)

Top image credit: istockphoto.com/CSA-Printstock.

Find Ruth Nakamura’s poetry collection, Crow Moon, in Ofrenda’s Bookshop. (Co-authored by Anna Griego.)

Top image credit: istockphoto.com/CSA-Printstock.

Find Ruth Nakamura’s poetry collection, Crow Moon, in Ofrenda’s Bookshop. (Co-authored by Anna Griego.)

Top image credit: istockphoto.com/CSA-Printstock.

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