I retract all requests: no need to breathe it into my ear: look in your red coat pocket, check the car cup-holder. If I think of you embodied (obviously you are not), your beneficent murmur embraces so much world, your godly gesture wide and full of comfort, your outstretched hand wise and warm across forest, desert, veld; Oh God, my busy fingers are nimble enough to search through pockets, parking slips and Costco bills, while refugee children, at the Syrian border kick a shabby ball, their fingers too blue for the handling of it, some already traced with misery and huddled on cold ground beneath the hapless arms of women there. From habit, I may thank you anyway, God, but don’t on my account send forth your spirit to the bodies of a team of mine while somewhere north of Iroquois Falls, a recluse starves and dies, shrouded in threadbare shawls, her woodpile gone, her cabin colder than outdoors, her nearest neighbour ignorant of her name. No, they can win it for themselves — that goes for every team, ignore those other fans, will you, and look instead where girls and women slip so easily away, craving an embrace to hold them fast and safe in villages which are their homes, set there in blood-grudge long ago and yanked, from time to time, away, to punish them for not being just like us. Since we don’t seem able, suppose you look their way. Suppose you take a godly peek at children, OMG, made soldiers, killers, families ripped away, humanity macheted from their souls. Forget the lottery tickets, the interview, the tournament, God. I’ll find my own keys. Are you listening? Thank you. Please.
©2020 Callista Mark
All rights reserved
Callista Markotich has had a lifelong career in Education as Teacher, Principal and Superintendent of Education. She lives and writes in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. Her recent poetry has appeared in Prairie Fire, The New Quarterly, Riddlefence, The Nashwaak Review, Saddlebag Dispatches and Room, where it has received a 2019 poetry award.