What if our prayers were the wind to God,
and carried our thoughts like the smell of cut grass
and barbecued meat and skunk musk
and cow dung and tire-kicked dust?
Carried our thoughts to God,
standing in the sunlit fields of heaven—
our thoughts, collecting like cottonwood seeds
in the arches of his feet?
Cottonwood seeds, shifting and shivering like faith;
settling on his clothes;
clinging to the backs of his hands;
to his hair, in a wavering halo?
What if God went carefully about his hallowed work
there in the sifting, fitful air,
not wishing to dislodge a single thought
from its place with him?
This poem won first place in the 2019 Clinton F. Larson Poetry Contest, sponsored by BYU Studies.