In the third of three poems, Bruce Black reflects on prayer.
Do prayers receive a stamp of approval when they arrive in heaven? Maybe there's an angel sitting at a desk reading each prayer, deciding which one gets passed on to God and which gets dismissed—tossed into the wastebasket to be shredded later— while those that are passed on get the stamp of approval? But even then there's no guarantee your prayer will be heard. There are so many prayers and only so much time. So, another angel must have to sift through them all deciding yes or no, accepted, rejected, and you'll never know which pile your prayer falls into. Even those accepted still need to make it past more angels judging the prayers that are to be handed to God, and even then the prayers can be pushed aside, only a handful brought to God for review. So you can pray and pray—all day, all night— you can pray all your life, on holidays, and on ordinary days, hoping your prayer is heard, hoping God will answer you, never knowing if your prayer reaches God's ear. In the end maybe it doesn't matter, only that you keep praying, keep believing in God, keep hoping your prayer receives a stamp of approval, keep waiting for an answer.
This poem was originally published on the Poetry Super Highway.