Prayers to St. Jude

to my mother, Elizabeth M. Hooker

“We’re gonna die in this house, we might as well enjoy it while we can,”
father said to you during supper one evening
as you both discussed remodeling plans.
You gave no response, though a longing filled your plate with seconds
as if dying under this roof was something you never wished for.

Often do my thoughts return to that night, finding myself with a similar plate
as I try to reap the lesson you unknowingly taught;
how some wishes become prayers to St. Jude,
how some dreams are martyred so other dreams can live,
but, most of all, how one should never stop reaching for the heavens
even if there's a roof above them.