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My Prayer of Becoming
Mary Jo Balistreri
Save me from the purposeful life
the narrowed path of have to and should
Uncage me at the crossroads
Let the unmapped guide me
Kindle my dry wood in scarlet
Flame my horizons in sparkly orange
Unmask my whorls my ridges
Let me savor all my seasons
Cast off my backpack of stones
Let chimes replace my chains
Allow my sharps my broken chords
Unshackle me from forms
Let me leap like Solomon’s gazelle
Dance like a Sufi Dervish
Unclamp my wings untether me
Like Pegasus let me soar
From gathering the harvest (Bellowing Ark Press, 2012).
Used here with permission.
Mary Jo Balistreri was a concert pianist for most of her life, but in 2005 she began writing poetry after the death of her seven-year-old grandson. Poetry gradually helped her transform her grief into something resembling acceptance. Mary Jo’s award-winning work is widely published and she is the author of four collections: Still, gathering the harvest, Best Brothers, and Joy in the Morning. In 2014, Mary Jo began writing haiku and haibun and, since then, has turned almost entirely to Japanese forms. Mary Jo divides her time between Wisconsin and Florida; learn more about her at http://maryjobalistreripoet.com/.
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