Prayers for the Children

9:46 AM


This poem has always made me tear up or cry. As we move into the New Year, remember the children whose names you do not know, whose stories are often forgotten, who teeter on the edge of existing and not, who need you so much. Today. This year. Dedicate yourself to a cause greater than you. I guarantee you won't have to go far to see the need or the void you can fill by mentoring, sharing your writing/drawing/painting/singing talent, just being a dependable ally. I urge you, do it for the children.
---
We Pray for Children . . .

by Ina J. Hughs

We pray for children
who sneak popsicles before supper,
who erase holes in math workbooks,
who can never find their shoes.

And we pray, for those
who stare at photographers from behind barbed wire,
who can't bound down the street in a new pair of sneakers,
who never "counted potatoes,"
who are born in places where we wouldn't be caught dead,
who never go to the circus,
who live in an X-rated world.

We pray for children
who bring us sticky kisses and fistfuls of dandelions,
who hug us in a hurry and forget their lunch money.
And we pray for those
who never get dessert,
who have no safe blanket to drag behind them,
who watch their parents watch them die,
who can't find any bread to steal,
who don't have any rooms to clean up,
whose pictures aren't on anybody's dresser,
whose monsters are real.

We pray for children
who spend all their allowance before Tuesday,
who throw tantrums in the grocery store and pick at their food,
who like ghost stories,
who shove dirty clothes under the bed,
and never rinse out the tub,
who get visits from the tooth fairy,
who don't like to be kissed in front of the carpool,
who squirm in church or temple and scream in the phone,
whose tears we sometimes laugh at
and whose smiles can make us cry.

And we pray for those
whose nightmares come in the daytime,
who will eat anything,
who have never seen a dentist,
who aren't spoiled by anybody,
who go to bed hungry and cry themselves to sleep,
who live and move, but have no being.

We pray for children
who want to be carried and for those who must,
for those we never give up on
and for those who don't get a second chance.
For those we smother . . .
and for those who will grab the hand of anybody
kind enough to offer it.

Please offer your hands to them so that no child is left behind
because we did not act.

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