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of tears and prayer and knowing it was nothing.

I knelt on the last pew
unable to feel my knees,
numbed to the world,
praying for you to live,
for God to grant you time.
More time.

I threw everything into the wager,
betting my entire life on a few more moments,
making a bargain with God
if only It would respond
and let you live.

I tried so hard to tear myself open,
I nearly drowned in my gnarled garden of twisted kleenex
and tortured prayers.

And then the doctors said your coma had passed
and you came home again
and everyone rejoiced
that my marathon prayers
had ushered in a miracle.

But I knew better.
I knew my praying hands held nothing
uncommon. I knew my tears had no magic
other than as a solvent that washed away pain by blurring memory.
An emptied self could never be a source
of miracles.

If you are to die,
nothing will make me heal this solitary tear;
it is my portal to something beyond
divinity, beyond promises and meanings and faith and sense…

a longing that provides
proof I am

Miracle © 1998 by Tobin James Mueller
"Ash" published by ArtsForge Press.
All rights reserved.