A Poem and Prayer for Justice

U.S. citizens have much to contemplate on this National Day of Prayer

By Michael M. Barrick

Note: Today is the “National Day of Prayer” in the United States. It would be refreshing to hear prayers that are not disguised sermons wrapped in the American flag. So, this year, I offer the following poem as a prayer so that we, as a people, will turn from our gods of materialism, consumerism, pride, power, sex, greed and money. Allegiance to these false gods impact not only the people in Haiti, but also in Lenoir, Appalachia, the inner cities of this country, and everywhere, as we see on the nightly news. Our choices impact every person on this planet, and those that will follow. Our “prayers” should reflect that reality. (The photo featured on the home page with this aticle is of congregants lining up for church in Port-au-Prince, Haiti).

100 Choices

“We now have 100 choices of beverages”
the fast food franchise brags on a billboard.
“Really?!” I exclaimed in indignation to my wife.

That is exactly 101 more
than the people in Haiti,
where even water is scarcely a choice.

There, I witnessed an orphan,
maybe three-years-old,
drinking water gushing from a broken water line.

For our choices, for our indifference
I could pray for God’s mercy.
Instead, I pray for justice.


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Orphans in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Photo by Michael M. Barrick.

© Michael M. Barrick / The Lenoir Voice, 2016.

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