Morning Prayer by Sara Parrell

Deliver me from this rubble,
a bent beam, rusted square nails, laths

smashed to slivers.
I’ve learned my soul

is not me         it is the wrinkled
woman sitting at my feet

curled in the body’s great shadow
mumbling aha

aha         and all the muddy while
my body is scuffed, nicked,

pierced, but still I hear
how the old one sings and sighs

let such as love thy salvation say
make the best of destruction.

Outside my house of ruins
a live oak quakes

cirrus tufts float and pulse—
help me         make certain

her strung-together notes
call the lost ones back.
Sara Parrell won first prize in the 2008 Poetry Center of Chicago’s Juried Reading for her manuscript Psalms of New Orleans. Her poetry has appeared in Crab Orchard Review, qarrtsiluni, and the 2013 Cowfeather Press anthology, Echolocations. Sara is faculty at the UW-Madison School of Nursing, and a member of the Madison public schools’ mental health consultation team.