by Mallory Nygard

If you had been here, Lord, 
If you had never left, Lord,
If you had asked us to come with, Lord, 
If you had warned us, Lord,
If you had explained, Lord, 
If you had raised your hand, Lord, even from that distance
and asked the sickness 
to come out, 
he would have lived, 
Lord. He would have 
	 And I would not need to be
here, on my knees
like a child
not even knowing 
what I’m begging for. 

For you to have already been here. 
For you to have never left. 
For you to remember who you love
and why
you loved him. 

I have bought more oil, Lord, 
and untangled my hair. 
I will cry at your feet, Lord, 
and ask and ask again 
for my brother to know peace

although I do not need to know 
when you will answer
and how long
you will leave us all waiting. 

Please, Lord – 

Mallory Nygard lives and writes in East Tennessee. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Relief: A Journal of Art and Faith, North Dakota Quarterly, Ekstasis, Amethyst Review, Pigeon Parade Quarterly, and Ever Eden Literary Journal. Her poem “Song of Sarajevo” was named Best in Show at the 2021 Rehumanize International Create | Encounter. Her first collection of poetry, Pelican, was released in 2021.

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