• A Prayer for Children

    -- by Ina Hugh

    We pray for children
    Who put chocolate fingers everywhere,
    Who like to be tickled,
    Who stomp in puddles and ruin their new pants,
    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 bounce down the street in a new pair of sneakers,
    Who never "counted potatoes,"
    Who are born in places we wouldn't be caught in,
    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 sleep with the dog and bury goldfish,
    Who hug us in a hurry and forget lunch money,
    Who cover themselves with Band-Aids and sing off-key,
    Who squeeze toothpaste all over the sink,
    Who slurp their soup.

    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 any 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 shove their dirty clothes under the bed and never rinse out the tub,
    Who squirm in church and scream on 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 be.
    For those we never give up on
    And for those who don't have a second chance,
    For those we smother with love
    And those who will grab the hand of anybody
    Kind enough to offer it.

    We pray for all children, for we were all children once.




Last Modified on July 31, 2019