Prayer for Jackson 

by Amy Gerstler

 

Dear Lord, fire-eating custodian of my soul,  
author of hermaphrodites, radishes, 
and Arizona's rosy sandstone. Please protect this wet cheeked baby from disabling griefs.
 Help him sense when to rise to his feet  
and make his desires known,
and when to hit the proverbial dirt.  

 On nights it pleases thee to keep him sleepless,  
summon crickets, frogs
and your chorus of nocturnal birds  
so he won’t conclude the earth’s gone mute.
Make him astute as Egyptian labyrinths that keep the dead's privacy  inviolate.

 Give him his mother’s swimming ability.  

Make him so charismatic that even pigeons flirt with him,  in their nervous, avian way.  
Grant him the clear mindedness of a midwife
who never winces when tickled.   

Let him be adventurous as a menu of ox tongue hash, lemon rind wine and pine-cone Jello.  

Fill him with awe for the seasons, minaret’s
saw-toothed peaks,  the breathing of cathedrals, and all that lives –  for one radian day or sixty pitiful years.

 Bravely,  he has ventured among us, disguised as a newcomer, shedding remarkably few tears.