Prayer in a Motel Room
Thank you for the way they’re trying
for European with this featherbed covered
with a sheet, and with the sort of faux distressed
French-Amish thing going on with the furniture.
Thank you for this refrigerated silence.
Also for the empty bathroom, the cabinet
that doesn’t open, doesn’t hide old bottles
with their years of maybes and regret. For the map
with its giant invisible arrow pointing home.
And for my mother, and how we swam
on icy mornings at motels, steam curling
off our shoulders as we clung to the edge
of the pool and whispered, my father and sister
warm and alive, still sleeping upstairs.
by Amy Miller
Editor’s Note: This poem’s careful imagery opens the speaker’s heart indirectly, so that by the last stanza the reader understands the intersection of joy and nostalgia.