Prayer After Receiving Communion

God I thank you for cornbread soaked in milk
eaten directly from the pan; it’s not a thing
a lot of people understand, but it’s a thing
my grandma did and I do too.
She was from Arkansas, that’s all I know
because I never asked. I went outside to play instead;
I knew the trees. I knew the grass.
Back then, adults were merely artifacts
not paths

to a time before cornbread.
A time before corn.
When women’s hands worked side by side by side
the wrinkled and the young weaving baskets,
scraping leather, braiding rope.
We talked the day into the night
trading stories, singing poems. Back then
I would have known her, would have been her.
She would have lived with us instead of alone
with her novels and a piano

she no longer played. Wherever she is now:
Paradise or born again in the trees where we
spread her ashes, please let her know this
piece of her yet lives, one small thing
I understand: the particular pleasure
of cold milk and rough crumbs gone soft
but holding shape upon the tongue.
It’s a poem I can eat and pretend
my mouth is her mouth,
world without end.

E.D. Watson

To Save Us From the Dark
Prayer Against the Binary