Some people pray with their hands clasped
tightly together, as if the pressure
of squeezing their fingers together
would somehow mold their hopes into shape.
Some people pray with their palms pressed
together, fingers pointing upward
as if an invisible compass
would somehow quide them in the right direction.
Some people pray with their arms wrapped
around their bodies, clutching their humanity,
praying not out of humility
but out of fear.
Some people pray with their hands stretched
outward, away from their true nature
as if the world owed them something.
there are those people whose hands
are works of prayer:
hands that open doors for the elderly;
hands that comfort the sick and lonely;
hands that pour love into food they prepare.
Hands that play, Patty cake, patty cake,
baker’s man. Hands
that give birth to beauty:
in paintings, in sculptures, by writing,
by signing for the deaf.
Prayers aren’t always words –
they are works of love
best given away to others.