Prayer with Strawberry Gelatin

Eugenia Leigh

                                              My sister is sick.

The culprit — shapeless, anonymous.

Medical science works best with a villain:

name the devil

to learn whether to cut loose a tumor, switch out

a liver, break into heart after heart.

Will it help her to know

she dodged a knife

in the womb? Has she already heard?

In the memory of that day,

I ask

whether the hospital feeds our mother Jell-O.

Mom is alive.

I am four. I associate strawberry gelatin with miracles,

and the baby is okay.          My sister’s storm

needs a name, Lord. She points to her temples

where her torrents are born.

Once, in Galilee, spit and a pair of hands

gave sight to a blind man,

but it took two tries.

The first time, the people looked like trees.

So open your mouth

and get her story right.

Give over and over, your hands.

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