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Non Believers Always Pray The Hardest



I sat back in my bed and thought about my day.

Women complaining about hot flashes and cold sores.

Long documents from the lawyers.


A blizzard is coming tomorrow they say.  

Snow doesn’t bother me, it is unusual and risky.

Loneliness bothers me.  Angry eyes bother me.

Mail bothers me.  Dreams bother me.


I turned off the phone, poured a glass of wine

(from Sonoma County) and turned on some Charlie Parker.

Finally, I opened a book of poetry by Walt Whitman.

I sing the body electric.


All was quiet except the fan in the computer’s engine.

I heard the voices of the people I would have to talk to

the next day; I saw the flicker people worried about snow.


While reading I glanced over to Monty, my dog.

He sat in the bed next to me chewing a stick of rawhide,

which he seemed so determined to devour.

I threw Whitman aside, drank my wine and watched him.

His eyes were focused, his jaw unrelenting.


Yet he noticed me observing him and he stopped.

He stopped and looked back at me.

I looked at him, awestruck.

Then he turned away and resumed his chomping.


Soon, I thought, I will get up,

make coffee, shave and bathe,

put on a suit and go to the hospital.


I thought, as I watched Monty,

I am in the operating room tomorrow.

I am teaching young doctors tomorrow.

I have to be tired tomorrow.

I have to answer to my pager tomorrow.

I have to take my vitamins and carrot juice tomorrow.

I have to dance with phones and nurses tomorrow.

I have to dance with blood and small babies tomorrow.

I have to explain science to laymen tomorrow.

I have to explain laymen to science tomorrow.


But I watched Monty with the curiosity of a boy

examining newly found spider webs.

I hugged him and took him for a walk around the block.


Then I slept, I wished and I prayed.  I prayed hard.

Non believers always pray the hardest.  

                                       --Published Ceremony Collected

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