A Book of Uncommon Prayer:
A selection

Post-Game-Day Blessing

Bless the black g-string,
abandoned on the sidewalk
beside a green Gingko
sapling on Lee Street.
Bless the girl who
shimmied out of it
before dawn, drunk
on Curaçao or Triple
Sec or Mike’s Hard
Lemonade. Drunk
on lust and early autumn
and our team’s unexpected
win over Georgia Tech.
Bless our team, all defense,
no offense. Bless every-
one who must have been
downtown last night
with their car flags and
war whoops, mesh jerseys
and micro-minis. Bless
our star quarterback, on fire
with a 14-3 halftime lead.
We are on the first grade
class walking trip to the
library so everyone can
get their own cards. I am
chaperone, which means
herding kids out of traffic,
back over the curb. Bless
the curb, and the kids who
use it as a balance beam.
Bless the magical book drop.
Bless the girl with knotted
hair who tries to stuff orange
leaves into the slot. And
bless the librarian, too, who
reads a book, loudly, clearly,
to everyone about someone
reading a spooky book. Bless
the meta-story, and the mass
of first graders, descending
on the stacks like locusts.
Bless the red Solo cups
on the return trip
congregating like plastic
flames, like oversized
maraschino cherries on
the early-morning lawns
of Phi Delt, Sig Ep,
any dilapidated white
house with a porch
couch on East Roanoke
Street. Bless the empty
bottles of PBR knocked
on their sides, mouths
open in wondrous O’s.
O rushing yards. O Bud
Light Lime in your crushed
cardboard case resting
on the elementary school
lawn. Bless my son and
his friend Major, who look
past the blue Trojan wrapper
on Jackson Street, the flattened
Miller Lite can on Bennett,
to the blue butterfly,
to the giant mushroom
blooming in the corner
of someone’s yard. It looks
like a piece of meat, says
my son. Or a tree stump,
says Major, matter-of-factly.
It is a mushroom worth
blessing. And Bless our team
for escaping Bobby Dodd Stadium
with a 17-10 win. Bless us for
being able to hold on despite
the onslaught.

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