Two score years ago
my mother birthed forth
into our family
a new sister
conceived sometime in September
as I was dedicated 
to prayer for a sister
as a five-year-old

I ponder the toilsome efforts
heaved by my mother and
her and my sister’s near death
experience during the miraculous
ordeal–a test of endurance
resulting in an astonishing thing–
my sister, of course, and
that other thing for which I prayed–
to not be alone
to be loved
to belong

On my sister’s fortieth birthday
Flag Day
I am humbled
by marvelous works
achieved through prayer
and great travail 
speeches and deeds
kept promises
and forward motion

I still pray

so that

does not feel alone
but rather
and a real
sense of belonging