On brittle bones and frail knees, she knelt.
Before the Rooster’s crow and nightingale chirp
She whispered words in the quietness,
Words so soft sounding like lullabies to children asleep.
She began with gratitude for sight as the new day dawn,
Another Day, for life given and health restored.
On the hard and coldness of the floor she knelt
Before dogs barked, and Hadidas wreak havoc as they flee their roost.
Mama prayed, she prayed for a father out in the cold,
Paving roads for his children’s stomachs to be filled and their bodies kept warm.
Long as he paved the roads, may they one day lead those little feet to greener pastures.
She prayed for a man toiled and tired
Pick and shovel on his shoulder, having worked the night in mines of gold
digging is his wage for his son’s and daughter’s education.
Long as he digs that gold, may it one day earn him a rocking chair
To rest his back as he tells his tales to his grandchildren on a Villa’s porch.
On aching joints and swollen ankles, she knelt
Before the early bird perched on a branch awaiting the fattest worm.
What began as a whisper now made into words spoken with emotion
Grandma prayed, she prayed for the widow shunned and poor
As the sun rose and so does she, to knock on the neighbour’s door
For a fish, a nickel or an ounce of oil.
Long as she knocks, may he who opens be good, kind and generous
for as the day dawns, the third sun had set, and mouths cried for food.
She prayed for a sister, so young and so troubled
Now a mother, a father to the young she came before.
As she mopped the floors, polished the brass to earn a penny,
For her brother’s shoes, her little sister’s dress and shirt.
Long as she shines those floors, may her future be as bright as the handles on every door.
On fragile knees and shaky hand, she knelt.
Before frogs croaked and the field mice ran home.
Mama prayed, she prayed for stranger as though she was praying for herself.
She prayed for peace in the midst of turmoil as if her own house was at war.
In Her selflessness, she prayed for others to be blessed with plenty
when she, herself was in need.