Prayer for the Dead

my heart
dresses in
black lace
when I slide beads slowly
through my practiced hands
their surfaces warm
worn smooth
against calloused
it is the tender tissue
of my throat
that stings
as I murmur
their names
one by one
in order of loss
head bowed
in the candlelight
or I must return
to the beginning
start again
the ritual must be
performed perfectly
at the alter
of my dead

© 2018 Christine Elizabeth Ray – All Rights Reserved

6 thoughts on “Prayer for the Dead

  1. I have no beads and no altar, but that matters not. The ritual has no set time or place or form, and that is no matter too. The ritual is present, engraved in the pavement of paths shared for long or short. The ritual has no beginning nor end, and only lengthens with each passing. Sleep well my dead, and know, if there is knowing there, the peace that so eluded some of you in life.


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