years ago I took a one day Beginning Poetry Workshop and fell in love
with poetry. It has become a part of my life. My poems have been published
in Room of One's Own, Freefall Magazine, Prairie Journal
and Writing the Terrain, a University of Calgary Anthology.
moving without sound, eyes closed,
familiar before memory, the click of beads
slips through my grandmother's fingers
as she kneels before the Blessed Virgin.
She kisses the tiny crucifix and rises.
In Miss MacLeod's grade six class, we prayed
the rosary each morning. Twenty-five voices
travelling toward the cross above the blackboard,
cold floor pressing into our bones, lowered
eyelids sneaking peeks out the window. Now,
I carry the beads in my purse, airplane carry-on,
money belt in a foreign country. Once
on a trip to Denver at 40,000 feet,
a young Buddhist showed me his mala beads.
Made of Tulsi, the most sacred of woods,
it clears the aura, anchors the mind.
I could use that. When night swallows me,
and prayers slide through my fingers,
I wander from the Mysteries to grocery lists,
errands. Sometimes, I simply clutch
my grandmother's rosary in my palm,
my heart the litany. The two thousand
year old song seeps into my veins.
It warms the dark, cools the heat.