This month’s Food for Thought column is the poem “Pray for Peace” by the poet Ellen Bass. We are grateful to our friend Rev. Paul Dodenhoff of the UU of the Palisades in Englewood, New Jersey for bringing it to our attention during a sermon on Prayer.
Pray to whoever you kneel down to:
Jesus nailed to his wooden of marble or plastic cross,
his suffering face bent to kiss you,
Buddha still under the Bo tree in scorching heat,
Adonai, Allah, raise your arms to Mary
that she may lay her palm on our brows,
to Shekinhah, Queen of Heaven and Earth,
to Inanna in her stripped descent.
Hawk or Wolf, or the Great Whale, Record Keeper
of time before, time now, time ahead, pray. Bow down
to terriers and shpherds and Siamese cats.
Fields of artichokes and elegant strawberries.
Pray to the bus drive who takes you to work,
pray on the bus, pray for everyone riding that bus
and for everyone riding buses all over the world.
If you haven’t been on a bus in a long time,
climb the few steps, drop some silver, and pray.
Waiting in line for the movies, for the ATM,
for your latte and croissant, offer your plea.
Make your eating and drinking a supplication.
Make your slicing of carrots a holy act,
each translucent layer of the onion, a deeper prayer.