That memories of lighted candle-sticks, my mother’s rosary beads,
might save us goes still answered. Instead we wait anxious
through the night for the phone to ring sing-song, like rising hope
in the eye of a storm, to let us know that she’s safe.
We remember, then, the hymns that we sang as children,
the Ava Marias or O Come all Ye Faithfuls of a youth spent
in stained-glass naivety, waving wildly the missalettes, like flags,
at friends that we knew from school.
I once heard, a long time ago, that children’s prayers are the most powerful,
so there’s not much use of my fumbling, in indefinite quietness, these beads
when moments are, for so many, lost to a sea of “I wish.”
I suddenly remember a night I tried not to sleep, staring instead at the child’s face
of St. Francis of Assisi in my grandmother’s bedroom, wondering
what he prayed for before he was a saint, a devout statue.
Edel Hanley is currently researching for a PhD in women’s war writing at University College Cork following the completion of her MA in Modernities: British and American Literature and Film at UCC. Edel hosts children’s poetry and writing courses in conjunction with the Centre for Talented Youth Ireland (CTYI) in UCC and has previously published poetry and fiction in Crannog Magazine, #mentalhealthformillennials, The New Writer’s Café Magazine, and Quarryman Literary Journal.