This prayer might be painful
for you to hear, but it’s all I have.
All I ask is that you listen to my words
and please don’t turn away:
A new and unfamiliar fear
has been growing within me.
Every day the walls close in,
every day the world bears down upon me
just a little bit more.
I’m staggering under the weight
of voices assailing me from every direction.
I’m unsure of what to do, what to think,
I don’t know what is real and what is false,
whether to stay in or venture out,
I can’t tell if my comfort is complacency,
if my worries are hysteria.
Every day I read of illness and death
and I dream of escape.
I see the birds building their nests
outside my window
and dream of flying far, far away,
to a place untouched by fear or sorrow.
Our leaders have utterly failed us;
they wander in confusion
without a care for our well-being.
I trust only in scientists and care-givers,
I depend only upon my friends,
my neighbors, my community.
I know we will only survive
if we care for one another.
How long will I dwell
in this strange new kingdom?
How many will be stricken,
how many will fall?
Will I make it safely
to the other side?
As I contemplate your familiar silence,
I realize I don’t really require an answer –
perhaps just the reassurance that whatever happens,
we’ll bear each other along the way
with kindness, decency and love
until our long sleepless night is through
and the warm light of a new day rises
to envelop us once more.