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These Hands which I Fold in Prayer for You

Written by Gabrielle Worley
February 5, 2013

Gabrielle Worley serves as a Global Mission Intern in Armenia. Her work with Global Ministries is funded by your offerings to Week of Compassion.

A poem for my Syrian friends

By Gabrielle Worley


If it were stones that you carried in your hands,
I promise I would take them from you.

 If this burden that bends your back
and fills your chest with the calls
of a thousand crows
were anything that I could hold for you,
know that I would fall and open my hands to you now.

 But I cannot take the lines from your face and dig them into my own skin.

 What you carry cannot be handed over.

 You cannot lay down the distance
between yourself and your home,
the waiting, the not knowing who
has survived another sunset.

 You cannot put down the sleepless nights,
wondering what the rebels are doing to the one in captivity
or the unfamiliar scent that hangs in the air
as the sun shines through the shattered window
of your old church.

 You carry the eyes and the stories of your dear ones,
the long quiet roads they must travel to the village,
the mass graves in places where no one was meant to be lain,
the child who hides in the bathroom and continues to scream
after the shooting had stopped.

 You carry the moment when you turned the corner to go home
and learned that man with his weapons
has painted a new landscape over your city,

 a sea of old stone gasping for breath beneath a black sky,
a single minaret hovering
in silence
that everyone is afraid to break.

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