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Mother's Work
by Charlie Becker

We are all in Jerusalem
to kiss the wall
place prayers in cracks
where God will hear them,
expecting words
to penetrate the skin of our skulls
as we rock back and forth
wail silently, politely
body to body
in the dry air of faith.

My mother prays. She prays
everyone will go to church,
synagogue, temple, anywhere
just to believe in something
Longer than her 96 years.
My sister, sage seeker,
found hope
in a healing congregation
and mom, tongue in cheek,
now whispers, "You see,
it just took time."
My brother, doctor to us all,
finds time to meditate
with a Yogananda
brings him peace of mind
through breaths
deep, whole body
clouds of wisdom
from the Ages
and I swear he's always calm.
Mother rolls her eyes
but tries with smiles
to calculate the chances
he will make it to heaven.

And then there's me
barely able to function
in the real world
physical world
threatening world
just point me towards utopia world
one foot in the monastery world
tell me what you need world
of this world but not in it world,
always giving mom a reason
to make my favorite dessert
blueberry cobbler
on her Sundays.

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