The harder part is people.
So Lord, help me face them
without rancor or disappointment.
Help me see the pain behind their actions
rather than the malice;
the suffering rather than the rage.
And in myself, as I struggle
with the vice of my own desire—-
give me strength to quiet my heart,
to quicken my empathy, to act
in gratitude rather than need.
Remind me that the peace I find
in the slow track of seasons
is married to the despair I feel
in the face of nuclear war.
Remind me that each small bird shares atoms
with anthrax, with tetanus, with acid rain, that each time I close my heart
to another, I add to the darkness,
Help me always follow kindness.
Let this be my prayer. ——Karen Holden