Happy Poetry Month!

April is National Poetry Month and for the past few weeks I’ve been trying to write a new poem for you guys and gals. But that didn’t happen. Sorry. Here is a poem I wrote a few years ago, though, that I hope you enjoy.

The Night Prayer

Just before Amen
I ask for you

I blame you for my reluctance
To call out a fool when I see one
Or snap my fingers to gospel songs
But I’m glad you taught me
How to mend a hole in my shirt
And to wrap God around my shoulders
When the heat bill couldn’t be paid

You never taught me
How to make your rice pudding
Or explained why you made Mama
Get rid of the baby
She just knew was a boy

Be sweet
You’d say before hanging up
When I was away at college
So I’d feel guilty
Every time I opened my legs

New friends see your photograph
And say I have your dimples
I don’t interrupt with talk
Of my mother’s adoption
Because I am certain I have your skin
I have a cheek you taught me to turn
Palms you taught me to press together

I still wake up at 3 a.m.
To check the balance in my bank account
Your obsession with money haunts me
But you refuse to
No matter how much I beg

© Javacia N. Harris. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without written permission from the author is strictly prohibited.



  1. i remember this poem!!

  2. you read this at inKY a few years ago! i still like it.

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