“Long Car Line Prayer” by Lorena Parker Matejowsky

Lorena Parker Matejowsky


Lord, deliver me from this long car line
the burning surface parking lot of parents
with too many crude tattoos the glares
the reflection of my own falling face
etched in minivan mirror mirror judge not
let me be judged. Lord, deliver me from
my fear of failing to pack a proper lunch 
or Google charter school statistics. Deliver 
me to field trips with happy boys from broken 
homes leaning languid beside me on bumpy 
bus seats. Let me be a light unto science teachers
who pray to a man above the moon, magic 
maker of Adam and atoms. Lord, hear my prayer 
and delivery no deliver me to jail do not pass 
in the car line. Deliver me a box of locally sourced 
food to multiply for these masses these people 
that keep coming. Lord, I’m guilty of giving 
too little too late to school again the tardy bell 
tolls for whom, Lord? Whom will I hustle through 
school years and see on the other side? Lord, 
give me enough energy to meet these kids halfway. 
Show me how to be humble at halftime, how 
to navigate new technology for teenagers. I believe 
in my father, and school spirit, the dignity of dirty 
laundry. Lord, hear my prayer. Lord. Who hears my prayer?

from Rattle #56, Summer 2017
Tribute to Poets with Mental Illness


Lorena Parker Matejowsky: “In my forties I had a bad panic attack that led to months of anxiety and depression. It was unexpected, horrible, and humbling. As I recovered, I began to tell a few trusted friends. Almost everyone I told had similar stories. The suburbs are full of them. Stigma and shame keep many of us silent. ‘Long Car Line Prayer’ was written right before it happened and reflects the overwhelming demands of modern motherhood I was feeling. I hope these words give someone solace in knowing they are not alone and can, indeed, get better.” (web)

Rattle Logo