Every time I turn around, I hear more words of war.
When I read the paper, I see the shapes of pain.
When I listen to people on the street, I feel their anxiety
as they talk about what might be or what was,
both years ago and yesterday.
Hope, somebody tells me, is a chimera.
Humanity is a violent animal run amok.
All we can look for is more of the same.
I cannot function, a dear friend cries.
All I can do is feel the children's pain.
Another smiles in silence, makes mental statues
of the way the world could be.
In the bar a woman drowns her fears.
On the parkway, a man makes daisy chains to tell his dreams.
Oh God, it is too hard to bear, we pray.
Oh Mother, take this pain away.
But no. Once opened, my eyes cannot refuse to see.
Unlike the generations gone before, I cannot say I did not know.
I can no longer wash my hands.
For now we know that "they" is "me."
There is only one world, no "them" but only "we."
Oh God, my prayer-of-now, let me not abandon to despair.
Oh Mother, give me strength to do what e'er I can.
Grant that those I touch each day may feel my core of hope,
The stubborn refusal to let destruction win.
Oh God, give me courage to endure this time of trial.
Oh Mother, guide my hands and heart to peace.