On Remembering to Forget

I have tried but I cut my tongue on sharp memories and bleed doubt on the hems of my prayer shawls. There have been too many words in the past. Too many “Father Gods,” and “In Jesus name,” Too many pussy-willow whispers that have blown into empty airy “But God is faithful.” I open my mouth and drip drops of everything but prayer as I have known it.

Mostly now there is silence.

And me

sitting cross-legged in the early morning.

And there is a lot of staring,

at open palms,

and open pslams,

at the surface of teacups with floating lemon seeds,

through open windows into the thick forest of bark and leaf and branch beyond the backyard.

When I speak I ask God, “What are the ‘former things’?”

I wait in silence to remember the old things,

to know what exactly God wants me to forget:

the hours of prayer or the unanswered prayer,

the first step or the fall?

I am not a prophet

but if God tells me the truth I will scream it aloud.

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