Nathaniel Lee Hansen

Nathaniel Lee Hansen’s chapbook, Four Seasons West of the 95th Meridian, was published by Spoon River Poetry Press (2014). His work has appeared in Prairie Gold: An Anthology of the American Heartland, Driftwood Press, Whitefish Review, The Cresset, Midwestern Gothic, and South Dakota Review, among others. His website is, and he can be followed on Twitter @plainswriter

Methods of Prayer

Sometimes it is best when you sit
and speak nothing, pray nothing, but be still.
Yet such actions contradict much
you have absorbed about prayer, against your will.

You learned the yes, Jesus tag
to affirm prayers of others. Times are rare
when you’ve muttered it, shyness shuts
your mouth, reservedness cuts off your air.

You return to silence again,
earplugs a necessity to shut out
any noise. Oh, to be alone
as you can. To be still. To subdue doubt.