We pray for the 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 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, who 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 and scream in the
phone, whose tears we sometimes laugh at and whose smiles can make us
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, who 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.
The above picture was taken in San Francisco, from a mural
painted behind a bus stop at Masonic and Page.