Becky’s mom is too religious but at least she lets us go to the park by ourselves—where two
older boys with a pocketknife back us up against the wall of the maintenance shed.
I can run fast until my asthma kicks in, so we leg it. We don’t mention boys as I sit at the dining
room table with a towel draped over my head, inhaling steam from a pot of boiled water. When I
stop wheezing Becky’s mom drives me home.
Dear Lord, we thank you for the gift of friendship and for this precious time we had together. We
thank you for the gift of food, and for whatever you guide me to prepare for dinner tonight. Lord,
we pray that you heal Lara’s lungs… Mercifully, she prays with her eyes open and her hands on
Lara Frankena is a Midwesterner by birth and a Londoner by chance. Her poems have appeared in publications such as Free State Review, Unbroken, and Midwestern Gothic.