Childhood Prayers

Yes, as a child I prayed,
because the nights in bed
were long and dark
and the days
had already shattered my mind
into gleaming fragments
moving quickly upon
a flame of fear.
Yes, I prayed
into the darkness,
for there were holes
in the safe world
and even my parents
sometimes became
strangers in the house.
I tried to hold our family
safely in my arms
so that it would not shatter too,
along the fault lines I knew,
and leave me all alone.
I prayed and never thought
these prayers trying to find
their way upward through thick
layers of tangled, textured shadow
were answered, but it may be
the prayers themselves were
the answer needed then.


About the Poet:
Max Reif has published three books of poetry, Canticles for Meher, Every Day Music, and Journey from here to HERE. His forthcoming book of stories, Toward an Interior Sun, is being published by The Mindful Word. He has also just recorded a CD of songs, titled The Wake-Up Man. His poem, Jazz Kahuna, which appeared in POETRY BREAKFAST, has been nominated for a 2016 Best of the Net Award. He lives in the San Francisco bay area with his wife, Barbara.


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