A Prayer for my Christian Father

It is a pleasure to share more poetry from NDQ 86.1/2 which should be arriving in subscribers’ mailboxes even as we speak! This week Danielle Hale offers a deeply personal reflection in her poem “A Prayer for my Christian Father.”

For more content from NDQ 86.1/2 click here, or, better still, subscribe to the Quarterly. Check out the table of contents here.

A Prayer for my Christian Father

Our father whose work on Earth
gave us our daily bread,

office eight

to five meetings

meetings meetings grilled

cheese lunch

back to office

who led us away from temptation,


rules broken never

bent discipline father

to son to


and delivered us from evil

church on

Sunday school

bible verses memorizing

back to church

on Wednesday

A man
learning by doing
doing Catholic learning
Indian as mother finds
follows, shares

learning humbly doing
Indian, patient
watching (br)others,
for directions

helping burn
smudge keeping
fire, imitating brothers
learning work
for mother

father in fire
softening, strengthening,
smudge smoke rising
mixing traditions
burning away rigidity.

Danielle Hale’s poems have appeared in online journals like The Citron Review, and The Broken Cassette. She has been nominated for the Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize. Danielle received her MA from the University of North Dakota and currently resides in Wisconsin where she teaches writing.

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