Meridian, MS 1958: My Grandmother Meditates on the Miracles of the Christ

In the world we knew, what went blind stayed blind.
What was laid low, languished. The world we knew was dark,

but manageable. The world we knew favored speed
or steel. Or both. We could run when they took up arms or

we could square the body against the pain we each would know.
The world revealed itself in this way, the choice it offered.

Hard then, to pray for more than this. But we did pray. Oh,
how we prayed. We prayed to the river to spare us flood. To the trees

and their turning. To the wind and its lamentation. If you know
nothing of prayer, know this: to pray is to ask—Lord, will we be delivered?

The world we knew said no. Said wait. Said no again. To pray is to ask—
Lord, have mercy. The world we knew said no, said wait, said wait.

And the Lord said unto us: You ask not for My mercy; go forth
and ask your brethren. And we were sore and right afraid.

T.J. Jarrett is a writer and software developer in Nashville, Tennessee. Her recent work has been published or is forthcoming in African American Review, Boston Review, DIAGRAM, Ninth Letter, Third Coast, West Branch and others. Her work has been a runner up for the 2012 Marsh Hawk Poetry Prize and a finalist for the 2010 Tampa Review Prize for poetry. Her debut collection Ain't No Grave will be published with New Issues Press in the fall of 2013. To learn more, visit her website at www.tjjarrett.com. (tanya.jarrett@gmail.com)

Boxcar Poetry Review - ISSN 1931-1761