Every mother prays.

Every mother prays.

She whose faith is her marrow.
She whose faith chirps timidly on her shoulder.
She who claims no faith at all;
every mother prays.

In gasps, in whispers, in sighs and shouts,
every mother recognizes their ineptitude, along with the sacred ground upon which they walk. And there is no better recipe for prayer than
fear and longing and love,
those three currents which push the blood through a mother’s veins.
Fear of failure. Fear of loss.
Longing for answers in dark nights.
Love that buries her and brings her back to life.

Every mother prays.
We pray for the children we never knew. For the children we lost.
Deep cries for the children we hope to hold.
We pray for the ones who run to us,
who call us home.

We pray for the ones who already grew, who cannot possibly understand the moaning prayers poured over their lives, the impossible scales which balance what a mother intended to do,
and what a mother actually did.

And what the child will remember instead.

Every mother prays.
She does this because even when God is not who she imagines or
even someone she believes exists,
in the thick of mothering, prayer escapes without a word on our lips.
Wordless poems of fear, longing, and love.
Feelings explained with a shrug because who could guess what happens under
a mother’s breast,
in that ever-expanding heart of hers,
that space which smells
like her neck in a hug and tastes
like her mouth in a kiss and sounds
like her breath in a song?
Every mother prays. Because what else can one do in that holy ache of kindred love?

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