By Tracy K. Smith

For Yarrow, and all that is bitter.
For the days I rehearse your departure.
For the Yes that is a lie
And the Yes that is not a lie. For You.
For the rivers I will never see. For Yams.
For the way it resembles a woman.
For my mother. For the words
That would not exist without it:
For Yesterday. For not Yet.
For Youth. For Yogurt and the mornings
You feed me. For Yearning. 
For what is Yours and not mine.
For the words I repeat in the dark
And the Lord that is always listening.

Tracy K. Smith, “Prayer,” from Such Color: New and Selected Poems. Copyright © 2003 by Tracy K. Smith. Reprinted with the permission of The Permissions Company, LLC on behalf of Graywolf Press, Minneapolis, MN, gra