Instructions for {Prayer} – a poem by Nancy Huggett

Instructions for {Prayer} 
(from Jeremiah 6:16)

Thus sayeth the Lord:

{DROP} the pencil, the dishcloth, the hammer, the mouse,
the grocery list, the pen, the duster, the spoon, the rusted nail.
Open clenched hands and release. 

{RAISE} high—veined, smooth, cracked, 
bitten-to-the-quick nails—in praise 
and let them fall together
slowly. A lotus bud just 
about to flower, in front 
of your broken tired heart. 

{ASK} for the ancient ways, 
the old ways, the dusty well-trodden ways hidden 
under concrete freeways, byways, overpasses.
Old ways travelled by land ancestors, spirit 
ancestors, blood ancestors. By hummingbird, mother, 
great-great grandfather, rumoured aunt, 
slow-boat-to-Chili traveller, hooded monks scribing on linen, 
buddhas awakening under the Bohdi tree
ancestors. Space then, for all the stars, black 
holes, comets, galaxies to lead 

{REST} from all the longing that ties and binds you.
Let go of striving. 

to the ground,
lay supine on a bed
of fallen leaves.
Feel the ancient breath:
in and out and in and out.
from when the world was created, 
big bang, first last forever breath.
The way of rest. 

Nancy Huggett is a settler descendant who lives, writes, and caregives in Ottawa, Canada on the unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinaabeg people. Thanks to Firefly Creative, Merritt Writers, and not the rodeo poets, she has work out/forthcoming in Reformed Journal, Literary Mama, Prairie Fire, Pangyrus, and Waterwheel Review.

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