Other Poems

Weather channeling prayer

Prayer in advance of a hurricane

by Ken Sehested
Written in 2014 to a friend in Cuba on a dark and stormy night

I am up late, glued to
the weather channel, tracking
Irene’s ruinous wake. Apparently
the storm is going north of you.
My furrowed face relaxes.

I do not believe in prayers
changing the course of hurricanes.
But that does not make me
cynical, or my prayers any less
urgent. It only means that
I love what God loves.

The implication, of course, is
that the storm's turning away
from you means it turns
towards others. In defense I say,
"Well, I don't know those others."

Ah, but God knows those others.
And loves those others, with or
without my furrowed intercessions.

So I am reminded again—as if
I needed another reminder—that
there is so much I do not know.

Then again, I also know that
God knows how little I know.
And that God’s love is not indexed
to my ignorance, and that I need not
be ashamed of my ignorance. Only
determined to push back its tenure.

Funny, isn't it, that the course of a
tempest can provoke theological
reflection? Then again, I remember
that squalls are the Advocate’s
customary vortex.

But at least now I can go to bed
imagining you finding your pillow,
howling threat passed on by
and boarded windows unburdened.

©ken sehested @ prayerandpolitiks.org