Prayer in the Winter Desert
by Susan Okie

My hands glow blue
in light struck from red

rock. Sky-parched,
I stumble, bleached

by dark, bent from reading,
deaf with rain.

A raven’s croak
echoes off canyon walls.

In snow-melt air,
the smell of pine rings.

Blue-gray junipers jump
from crevices, hanging on.

Nopales, hungry, spread
their blue-green palms.

Light is writing
white-gold letters on cloud.

See me,
blue-white sun,

fill me, too,
chlorphyll me.

Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 19, Issue 4.

Susan OkieSusan Okie is a doctor, a poet, and a former Washington Post medical reporter. She received her MFA in Poetry from Warren Wilson College. Her work has appeared in The Gettysburg Review, The Bellevue Literary Review, and elsewhere. Her poem, “Perseid,” was chosen by Michael Collier as the first prize winner in the 2012 Bethesda Poetry Contest.

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