Last Year:  A Prayer for the Nations
William Stapleton

Dust of death settles on a pockmarked road.
Churches made of tangled steel that once conveyed power.
People’s lives scarred from first one and then another tyrant
Mozambique lived through her darkest hour.
Now danger lurks in fields where children cannot play,
And farmers fear what plows might yet unearth.
One-legged, a new generation limps along the way
Frightened future greets a painful birth.

Rows of buildings empty in proud pragmatic dress:
Blacked out windows staring back; inside, ghosts’ eyes,
overseeing darkness from 50 years of government neglect.
Thracians now grow grapes since the commuists’ demise.
Now still, suspicion haunts the faces of the land
But, rising up, they seek a better day,
With stark oppression gone, those free are free to stand
And life can bare her colors, no more gray.

Mansions sitting back away from clean suburban streets
All curbs and trim white lines and fresh green lawns.
Prison cells in paradise built of too much stuff
and still the world screams:  “Let us be your pawns!”
What makes them think abundance is an equal to success?
What dark logic drives them to that end?
But, climbing up each-others’ backs to fall again and rest;
What else can stem disaster’s tidal wind?

Everywhere entropy reigns supreme!
Bitter little boys and girls run headlong toward their fathers’ fears.
Vehicles differ; destination remains the same.
Heaven’s sorrow shakes the Earth; night sky sobs God’s tears.
Might they all know ‘ere the darkness falls,
When this blue marble spins off into space,
And sun goes supernova; might they, each one, see the truth.
Creation was a family; not a race.

December 2008

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A Prayer for the Nations by William Stapleton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License