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VPR's coverage of arts and culture in the region.

Young Writers Project: Prayers

Courtesy, Susan Reid
Ella Staats, 16, of Burlington wrote a prayer for past, present and future experiences, for people she once knew, and for her own writing.

This is a prayer for the fish I never caught

in the pond at my friend’s ninth birthday.

May your fickle souls rest in peace,

and may you forever be grateful

that you never built up the courage

to bite the bait.

This is a prayer for all the thunderstorms I missed

while I was fast asleep in my bed,

dreaming of odd wonder-scapes,

or perhaps nothing at all.

May I live to hear more thunder roll

and see more lightning strike

and feel more rain across my cheeks.

This is a prayer for the letter I couldn’t bring myself to send

because the words were too delicate

and my hands shook too much writing them.

In hindsight, perhaps you were best left unsent.

Stamps are expensive nowadays.

May you yellow gracefully in my desk drawer

as a reminder of how much I can truly feel.

This is a prayer for the friends I left behind,

the one I met at camp and never called,

the one I let move away without a goodbye,

the one who traveled a world away without leaving her doorstep.

May you find your peace and let me find mine.

I am proof that there is such a thing as life without you,

but then again

you are proof that there is such a thing as life without me.

This is a prayer for the poem I never wrote

because the portrait I painted so eloquently in my mind

dissolved into primary-colored chaos on the page.

May my words never fail me

and may my pencil stay sharp

and my pages remain crisp.

Amen.

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