A Prayer for Hope

Dear God,
Please give me the strength to hope.
Turn my bleak thoughts
into gentle encouragement.
Let me feel hope
and believe that all is not lost.
And finally, allow that hope
to fuel my courage to carry on.
— Betty Taylor


Winter sunlight, fool's gold, pours in the south window,
fails to warm. Weak as tea, pale as bone, insubstantial
as dust on a mantle, water falling over stone.
The ground outside, hard, white as the hospital bed
where my friend waits after her marrow transplant,
hoping her white count will rise. I watch
birds at the window —
sparrows, titmice, finches —
the plain brown, the speckled,
the ordinary, no flashy travelers up from the tropics,
where winter is a verb, not a state of the heart.
I go out to fill the feeder, feel silky grain slip
through my fingers: millet, proso, corn.
Little birds,
little angels, singing their small song of consolation.
A thin drizzle of sun slips through clouds,
a strand of hope against the icy odds.
— Barbara Crooker

Hope Rising

Rising above the cataclysmic flames
a dove,
wings folding into themselves
all opposition,
hope beating strongly despite
soot-singed breast.
As long as she yet flies,
so live we all.
— Suzanne C. Cole