A prose poem I wrote about a healing ritual I performed on my little brother.
|A Pagan Prayer|
A blue pillar candle casts a circle of light around my baby brother, five months old and weighing only five pounds, the top of his Winnie the Pooh diaper just skimming his armpits. The light forms a sacred circle, guarding him from harm as I begin the ritual.
The strong, sour scent of lemon oil makes me sneeze as I rub it across his tiny, sunken chest. I chant as I rub, “May all the gods and goddesses smile upon this little one, blessing him and keeping him well.” Over and over I request help and health for the premature baby lying at the head of my bed, propped against pink pillows on the teal cotton bedspread. I rock on my heels next to him as I pray that I can take his sickness, that he can be well and do what doctors tell us is impossible: live.
I take the brown bottle of eucalyptus and tea tree oil from the bedside table and upend it, pouring a circle of shimmering, translucent green liquid into my hand. I rub this oil into his arms and legs, still chanting. His limbs warm with the oil, the pungent, invigorating aroma making him stir.
The air grows thicker and denser around me as I chant, faster and faster, massaging his limbs, pleading for his safety. Sweat drips from my forehead and neck, running down onto my shirt. The candlelight reflects the oils on his skin, transforming him into a luminescent, otherworldly being. Static electricity builds between my hands and his shriveled biceps, shocking me each time I move. A large jolt jumps up from his left shoulder, a visible spark landing on his chest.
He draws a deep breath, letting loose a loud baby laugh. He smiles, reaching his hands up to me, giggling again. I pick him up, laugh and giggle with him, as the scents of lemon, tea tree, eucalyptus and healthy baby boy surround me.