Authors and Poets
Authors and Poets

Photos used with permission from the Academy of American Poets

Last updated:
April 19, 2018
Lori M. Cameron, editor

On Praying – Cliff Williams

Fall 2007, vol. 11, no. 2

I do not pray very well in churches.

When I need to pray,
I put on old boots and dark clothes,
Take a piece of cardboard, folded up,
And drive to a freight train yard.
There I find an empty boxcar
And, laying out my cardboard, sit or lie.

Words come slowly or not at all—
Mostly feelings or desires,
Sometimes vague longings.

No one knows where I am
Except the one toward whom
The longings are directed.

After an hour I fold my cardboard
And find my way out of the yard.
Later, when I am in church,
I pray when others pray
But not with them
Or with their words.

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