Laura Johanna Braverman

A Prayer
April 24, 2020 Braverman Laura Johanna

I was very fortunate to participate in AWP’s Writer-to-Writer Program and to mentor Laura Braverman, a beautiful poet and artist. I learned a lot from her and found us to be mirrors of each other. Laura’s first book, Salt Water, just came out from Cosmographia Books. It encompasses geography and identity to weave myths and history, music and tragedy, memory and literature. It is a book of prayer, an ode to earth and life, a call for the human spirit to persevere in a broken world, a healing balm for the senses and the soul.
–Hélène Cardona



A Prayer

Praise the scent of wood
as it bakes in sunlight, and stones
beside the path—born
from lava broth, now covered
with damp moss;

praise long shadows of tree
trunks sloping down the hill, bright
fingertips of new
pine in spring and primeval
furls of pale lichen—
reminding us how much sea
once hid;

praise speckled riverbed
pebbles, cairns we stack to mark
our presence, the stone
I leave on my father’s grave—
reminding me of
what is changeless;

praise the chatter of leaves,
woodpecker’s nimble percussion,
my mother who greets
the sun. Praise mountains made from
titan collisions—
now still, but not voiceless.

Praise the call of all this—
rousing us to be better,
to shrug off our cages, to offer
not-knowing our faith.


Laura Johanna Braverman is a writer and artist. Her first collection of poetry, Salt Water, was published in 2019 by Cosmographia Books. Her poetry has appeared in journals including Levure Litteraire, Live Encounters, Mediterranean Poetry, and Sky Island Journal, and in the anthology Awake in the World, Volume II by Riverfeet Press. She received her BFA from Rhode Island School of Design, and studied poetry and essay with Stanford University, Bennington College and the New School. She lives in Lebanon with her family.