Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Come Lay Your Hands

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"Jesus can change anything" –Joyce Meyer, televangelist.
"Except Julian's diaper." –Tim, father of 17-year-old Julian, who cannot walk, talk, or feed himself.

Oh, come lay your hands upon him,
speak in tongues and song and words of ancients,
bring your creeds, your rituals, your holy smoke
and incense, raise your hands high, kneel down low, rock him in your arms,
bow at his feet,
baptize him in water, anoint him in oil, lift him up, sit him in a sweat lodge,
print his name on the list, circle up, and phone-tree him
with prayer,
let that prayer grow loud and enormous, a monster to envelop everything in its path,
place the pins in him to correspond with systems both spiritual and physical,
join your words, your thoughts, your prayers into a groundswell of unity,
email this wish to your seven best friends,
don't walk under a ladder or look in a cracked mirror, but
do pick up the penny, pick the number seven,
read from your books, scriptures and verses,
chant, ring bells,
give it your best shot.
What do you believe?

Oh, harness your codified, swirled circles of energy that pop across eternity,
cacophonous and unwieldy, Godzilla in downtown NYC, and let them
rain down in snowflakes upon his face, blanket him in paper confetti of prayers and
tears turned whispers in his ear;
be sure no one is looking when you tell him the truth, that you
are powerless and cannot change him,
that he has changed you.


Ellis Elliott is a yoga and dance teacher, as well as mom to three grown sons and three stepsons, one of whom is severely disabled. She disentangles the stuff of life through movement and writing. This is her first publication.


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