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Modern Theology

Laura Marie Bailey

He never answers, does he?

None of them do.

I’ll pray instead to the nurse who cracked open her own grief just to hold me briefly in mine.

I’ll pray to the cab driver’s weathered, walnut hands, give thanks for the miracle of a smile and a borrowed cell phone and a patient call for help.

I’ll pray to the neighbor who stopped for me in autumn rain, and I’ll make hymns of her favorite R&B station.

I’ll pray to the boy behind the ambulance wheel, who took pity on my shaking hands and shaking voice and shaking resolve, and pulled over. ‘Amen’ for the warmth of his coat, and five minutes, and a cigarette in the snow.

I’ll pray to the addict who always walked on my right, placed himself staunchly between me and speeding cars, fashioned himself wings at our bus stop.

I will pray to you, hands of holy humanity. You who feed the hungry and protect the vulnerable. You who share a roof or a ride. You who tend the sick and comfort the frightened. You who perform miracles with whatever you can spare. You who see a need and fill it.

Hallelujah. Hallelujah.

Laura Marie Bailey is an Ohio author whose work includes the poetry collection Grey and novel-in-verse Johnny Kid & The Art of Dreaming. Their poetry has recently appeared in Alternative Milk, Crab Apple Literary, and The Summer Gothic Anthology (Panorame Press).

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