This July 2021, Lyricality’s Founder and Director Tracy Rittmueller shares 4 poems that reveal some similarities between poetry and prayer.

To compose a poem is an act of faith as bold as prayer. “Prayer Flags” illustrates that a poet will often “wonder if anyone hears my heart speaking…” The time you invest in reading a poem is important to a poet, but more than that, it is important to our communities. To listen to a poem with the ear of your heart creates space for radical empathy to dwell among us. Thank you for paying attention to Minnesota poets and their poems. 

Tracy Rittmueller

Prayer Flags
by Wendy Brown-Baéz

Around a table littered with glitter and glue, silver markers 
and brightly colored fabric, the children are 

decorating prayer flags, then we rush through sacred 
circle and this Sunday’s story, or whatever it is to grab their attention.

I sent prayer flags to my sister.

I don’t know what she believed in when her body failed.
Then I brought her a candle, a tall pink vela.

I hang a gift of prayer flags in my window. 

The custom is to decorate the wind
so they fray and fade as they disperse prayers.

I pray so hard my tears turn me inside out. 
When all seems lost, I surrender.

Occasionally the breeze through the window
makes them flutter. I wonder if anyone hears 

my heart speaking when the world has 
caught fire?


Wendy Brown-Báez is the author of the inspirational writers’ guidebook Heart on the Page: A Portable Writing Workshop, a novel Catch a Dream, and the poetry collection Ceremonies of the Spirit. Her poetry and prose appear widely in literary journals and anthologies, such as Mizna, Wising Up Press, Poets & Writers, Talking Writing, Water~Stone Review, Peregrine, Mom Egg Review, and Tiferet. Wendy was awarded McKnight and MN State Arts Board grants to teach creative writing in non-profits. She continues to lead writing for healing and memoir workshops in community spaces such as healing centers, prisons, and churches, online.

“Prayer Flags” by Wendy Brown-Báez appears here with permission of the author.

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