A Prayer on Leaving My Earthly Body

(suggested by James Deahl’s “Prayer on Leaving the Body,” included in Smaller Than God, Br. Paul Quenon and John B. Lee, eds. (Windsor, ON: Black Moss Press) 2001).
These feet that have carried me
over switchback trails in Appalachian forest,
through crowded Jerusalem streets;

these legs that pistoned my little boy swinging,
pedaled my little boy bicycling,
walked me down the aisle to my lovely only bride;

this lap that held my two perfect children,
apples of my eye and pride of my life;

this belly I surfeited with food,
these lungs I used to speak and sing,
typing fingers,
hugging arms,
a heart that loved you,
lips you caused to smile,
eyes given to reading,
and bones that got too old too young,

I give them up,
all of them,
hoping I used them well
but needing them no more.
I shrug them off,
the garments of this life,
the detritus of this material world,
and go to claim a body that is better.

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