Forgive me when my dangling participles,
unfocused thoughts, and split infinitives
induce in me self-consciousness that cripples
the will to seek your company. It gives
me comfort, peace and pleasure just to know
you’ll wait for me, or meet me where I am or
you’ll even carry me when I can’t go
another feeble step alone. I stammer
and sputter, clear my throat, and awkwardly
aspire to eloquence; my speech unable
to hold a candle. Still, you’ve offered me
an all-abiding welcome at your table.
You wrote my heart; you know the words I’d say.
In silence, Father, teach me how to pray.
Mary Boren, 2003
My modus operandi’s been misplaced.
Too often, guided by a flapping tongue
and jerking knee, I’ve captured barbs and flung
them carelessly about. Then, as I faced
my own reflection — sheepishly retraced
those clumsy steps — I’ve noticed how they stung.
Time truly crawls when Ego squirms. I’ve hung
my head in shame for words I spoke in haste.
So, Father, give me nothing that I ask
today, except perhaps some balm to soothe
a ruffled spouse or friend or fellow poet.
Please tilt the mirror sideways to unmask
the hidden part you see … and should it prove
to make me humble, Lord, don’t let me know it.
Mary Boren, 2005