Prayer for West Virginia

K lives in her homeplace, on Victoria Hill in Buckhannon, WV with her husband Thom Keely, her dog Patches, and her two cats, Nada and Franny. She has been a teacher, a preacher, and now she is a poet.

O God,

Some of us call you Yahweh.

Some of us call you Spirit of the grandfathers and the grandmothers.

Some of us call you Allah.

Some of us call you God.

One of us, named Jesus, calls you Abba

daddy, papa,

I love to call you Amma

mommy, mother

the One in whom we live and breathe and have our being.

the One who gives birth to this

whole wide world—

the hills, the rhododendrons, the ramps, the joe-pye weeds, the ginseng.

You, You, You—

And my heart grows peaceful.

You gave us this place,

this community,

this piece of the world

called West Virginia,

child of the storm, born in thunder.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Namaste. God bless us everyone.

And you gave us the children to cherish,

The children of Buckhannon,

and the children of Guatemala and Honduras.

May the tears of the children ripped from

the arms of their mamas and papas—

may these tears flow upon us

and wash us

or wash us away.*

In the name of God

Creating life,

Conquering death,

Breathing hope.


*These lines are from my friend, Heather Murray Elkins