Amanda Russell

Book of Common Prayer for Those Who Cannot Move Mountains, Page 39

O Landlord, I call upon thee
for the ceiling cracks above me.
Hear me, for water leaks out of place.

It has been recounted of old that Elijah called once before
and was told that all ceilings are like that.
But a year later he called again
from downstairs
with wet socks and carpet.
And the Landlord heard him,
came to survey the damage, and declared unto him
not all ceilings are like that.

O Landlord, repairs involve process.
Do not forget me
lest I despair
and go pay to strange gods,
casting nickels before geese.

If you, mighty as you are, remember me
carve out the time or at least bring a bucket
of instructions
to stay off the wolves
who roam hungry for mustard seeds
and coupon stashes.

Hear me lest I stand again before the Universe,
Who spoke all things into Poetry. Lest I say unto Her:
Do you not remember me
standing in the desert church
before they tiled the out the sky,
before the windows glassed against draft and sand,
before the walls stood high enough to block out the Gladsome Light—
the evening glory?

Hear me, lest I lose my link to memory,
lest I rephrase my own history saying it was easier
back then, from a different stage
of life, from a different plate
of time, with no hungers
but my own to feed.
Lest patience faint mid-wait
with no answer at the other end of the line.


Amanda Russell is a poet and stay-at-home mom. Her chapbook, Barren Years, was published by Finishing Line Press (2019). Her poems are forthcoming or have recently appeared in First Literary Review- East, EcoTheo Review, South Florida Poetry Journal and the anthology Mightier: poets for social justice. For links to articles, interviews and more, please visit