Tuesday, June 1, 2010

the night's prayer for tomorrow

Will it be enough to love the person you put in front of me?
Grant me compassion for the poor and the capacity to help.
Shut my mouth for once when the grieving person just needs a silent companion.
Tomorrow my children and my wife will be with me:
may my eyes lock with theirs
and my words build them up.
Teach me another language.

There will be that old man
in his bed,
or shuffling down to the cafeteria--
but always inside--
that survived all other family,
so today he is alone with his fogged heart
and a clouded mind.
The ward is sterilized
and his faith is becoming
He isn’t dead, but almost.
Let me be
when he wakes up
to wake him up
to fresh wonder
out and about--
to get him dirty again.

The kids need new bikes, Lord.
And so do Heather and I.
There will be a path nearby, Lord—
just at the block’s end.
Yes, we’ll feel free to pick a direction,
any direction as we may fancy,
knowing you delight to see us serendipitous.
Thanks for the dignity, the real freedom, to choose.
We can take the path left or right—
either way, I suspect we’ll meet new people.
May they make me real.
And, please, Lord: provide used baseball gloves for we two boys.
And keep those courts open for my daughter and I.
The apartment will be empty for probably a couple of weeks.
I reckon all we’ll need will be those gloves, two rackets
and the accompanying balls to throw or hit.

Will it be enough to love the person you put in front of me?
Make it so, dear Lord.
I am unable to answer my own prayer--
for this I cry and cry.
This night and tomorrow I want to learn new names.
Grant me the gift of a good memory
and generous remembrance.

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