She has always knelt at the foot of her bed
at sunrise and prayed to God,
and she says she always will. She pops her knuckles,
says amen, and descends the stairs for pancakes
and orange juice. Her father says over his coffee,
“Good morning, my lovely, little miss.”
She can’t conceive of ever having to miss
this routine, sunshine on the flower bed
beneath the window and the smell of coffee.
With a syrup-filled mouth, she talks to God
and thanks him for mornings and pancakes
and fathers with their cracking knuckles.
She learns to sleep in, and the scars on her knuckles
remind her of every meal she forgets to miss.
The toilet accepts her offering of pancakes
and orange juice. A man yells from the bed,
“Are you finished yet? God,
I need to piss. Go make some coffee.”
She offers him a trembling cup of coffee
with her eyes fixed on his familiar knuckles.
She prays everyday—but does not talk to God—
that just this once, his fist might miss.
Now when she kneels at the foot of her bed,
she thinks of anything but pancakes.
God starts all His mornings off with pancakes
in remembrance of her. He takes His coffee
black. He thinks of the lesser gods still in bed,
stretches, groans, and cracks His knuckles.
Every sunrise she is silent makes Him miss
her more. He laughs at Himself. “God
should not feel heartbreak.” But God
does. He makes the moon round as a pancake
followed by an orange sun, so maybe she’ll miss
Him, too. He doesn’t finish His coffee
and can’t ignore the pain in His knuckles.
Maybe He will go back to bed.
The moon shines over her bed; she thinks of pancakes,
remembers her God and her father’s coffee.
She prays into her knuckles that her chance is not yet missed.
* * * * *
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