Keep Me Safe, Prayed the Child

Half hidden, half hoping, M. Mair, original art

Half Hidden, Half Hoping, Margaret Mair, original art

Watching with eyes wide,
Listening to hard words
Flying through the air
Echoing in her ears,
The child prays:
Keep me safe in times like these
When hate looks over every shoulder
And anger lurks in dark corners
And opportunists fan the flames
That flare through the spaces
Between us;
When each jealous eye watches
To make sure the others
Remain somewhere else
Away down there
Removed, unseen;
When repulsive thoughts
Take root in the lying darkness
Of frightened imaginations,
The better to reduce
Unknown people
From unvisited places
With hard, unheard histories
To some unworthy species,
Mere animals,
Nasty slithering creatures;
When anxiety turns into
A deep and hellish gloom
Giving birth to an ugly tangled knot
Of fear and violence
Overturning all kindness;
When anger, fanned, swirls
Into white-hot words and
Their smoking heat
Obscures once-known truths
And once-friendly faces,
Until every unsuspecting person
On every side of this great divide
Becomes someone else’s target.
Oh, where can I hide?
Please – keep me safe,
Prayed the child.

Written by Margaret Mair
Picture, original art by Margaret Mair

 

2 responses to “Keep Me Safe, Prayed the Child

  1. Ugh! Like a punch to the gut. I think many adults pray that prayer too.

    • I’ve been feeling gut-punched after coming across some of the hate-filled messages that have been making the rounds recently. I needed a way to express what I am feeling, for us and for the children.

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