Blackberry Prayer

God, grant me your prolific root,

that I may spread the good by branching.

Let me poke up through the sidewalks,

under fences, in the wasted places

and of course in flower gardens

side-by-side the daffodil and dahlia.

Let me intermarry like the Irish

and the German, Jew and Christian,

like the African and Cuban.

Teach me, teach me ways of blossoming

that I may be resplendent

though my legs are little more than canes

and cannot stand for long.

I ask you, let me reach with sweetness,

let me offer up my treasure,

let me serve myself to hungry passers-by.

Yes, let the birds, let even turtles taste of me,

for I am all I am and nothing more.

Yet I am nothing, nothing less than wonderful.

(Jack Hayes)

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