Prayer of the Shy Forest

As a child, when I closed my eyes to pray I saw a hissing
wall of TV snow. The tighter I closed them, the harder it
hissed. A song with two notes. AH ee AH ee AH ee AH . . .
But I kept coming back, like I kept playing, I know you
are but what am I? with my older brother who never lost
because, “I’m not your real brother, dork.” Kept coming
back. “Jesus, I made you a drawing of our yard.” Kept on
till the day Bigfoot made of prayer snow strolled through
the prayer snow. “Bigfoot?” AH ee AH ee AH ee AH . . .
Oh well. I knew it wasn’t indifference. Bigfoot was shy
like coyotes and me. I promised him I’d only pray for things
I really needed, and I’d never sneak up on him and scream,
“PAY ATTENTION!” like my tap dance teacher did: right
in my ear when I was listening to "Feelings,” wholly
enrapt, captivated. People who do that can go to hell.

Copyright © 2023 by Jennifer L. Knox. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on April 10, 2023, by the Academy of American Poets.