Prayers in Exile

This was written for Read Write Word prompt #6 on Read Write Poem. Enjoy.

prayers in exile

and the rain keeps falling down

little girl, barely a woman
budding breasts too soon, ahead of the clock
inside of an envelope of night
unseen, except by the creatures who would
devour her
teachers of hardness, lust, and abandoned prayers
hope gone stale
wandering in endless night
God doesn’t exist here
except in fairy fantasy dreams like a
far-off Santa Claus
grinning, open-armed, yet out of reach

and the rain keeps falling down

does it matter why she was kicked out?
she could be Mary
she could be Salome
she could be Rahab
even Sheba
but this jewel, tarnished by something
ineffable, out of reach, out of knowledge
is minted tonight in dust and drops of rain
Heaven’s tears
with luck they will cleanse
or maybe she’ll just drown
without a sound
one more lost to the flipside of night:
a beast, a demon, a dragon to those
on the wrong side of its teeth
one more testimony, broken, unspoken
one more statistic
one less Amen

and the rain keeps falling down

the halcyon dreams of a former existence fade away
giving themselves to sleep
of a different kind
a sleep of the mind
to block out
forget the nightmare
better to pretend to be from nowhere
than from somewhere
where they don’t want you
one sin past the midnight clock stroke
one last missed confessional
no Fathers, no Hail Marys
she is out of their reach
St. Rita pauses with tears in her eyes

and the rain keeps falling down

this highway – where does it lead?
to a new existence?
to damnation?
to acerbic catcalls calling her to
shake that ass
in leather
in lace
in sequins
to the highest bidder?
calls to shake off the innocence
let the mantilla fall
too soon
fall to the ground
without a sound
but its landing will call up thunder from Hell
from the light lilt of the mantilla’s impact
pavements will crack
streets will shatter
if Maria sheds her blue starry cloak

and the rain keeps falling down

the girl walks this highway
tears in her eyes
wordless prayers, unspoken anguish in salt water:
St. Rita, can you hear me?

and the rain keeps falling down

prayers in exile
exhale from the chest
of this young girl lost to the streets
to the highway
where does this highway lead?
prayers in exile,
take this highway out of town to God’s ears
for this little girl wanders
in endless night
breathing chained prayers
are these prayers out of reach?
out of God’s hearing?
can those chains be broken and her prayers fly free
up to Heaven,
out of exile?

and the rain keeps falling down

and the rain keeps falling down

and the rain keeps falling down

Written 12/24/08
Stumble It!
Stumble It!


About ravenswingpoetry

I am a 38 year old writer from Columbus, OH and the creator of Raven's Wing Poetry. I am a poet, seeker, fellow traveler, and autistic.
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3 Responses to Prayers in Exile

  1. poeticgrin says:

    Wow. Vivid, powerful, lonely, hopeless, moving stuff. You put me there beside her. I was walking with her, tears in my eyes, unable to help, unable to reach beyond one world and into another. “teachers of hardness, lust, and abandoned prayers” – Cold hard truth. The repeating chant, a musical prayer, and when we arrive at the capitalized letters, we’re yelling along with her. Good work. Great title. I can see this being the title of an entire collection.

  2. the repitition of the rain is very effective in setting the sad mood for this piece

  3. Deb says:

    “to those / on the wrong side of its teeth ” really caught me. And the rain, the relentless rain.

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