Poison Pie Publishing House: A Prayer for Failure

A Prayer for Failure

Lord, teach me to fail with grace,
for I have been told that, in failure,
one gains not only wisdom but understanding
and empathy for the travails of others.

I may have experienced such a bestowal
of wisdom myself, more than once perhaps,
but let me not boast of my own accomplishments
in the exploration of the far-reaching realms of failure.

Lord, in pursuit of wisdom, let all my efforts
come to naught. Let every kind word
be rejected as condescension by those I sought to aid.
Let my every action be rebuffed.

Lord, let the arrogant rise above me,
let they who have known nothing but success
in all of their endeavors, lecture me
on the merits of their abilities and schemes.

Lord, let me not chafe at the judgment
of the insignificant, who by dint of either chance
or earnest labor hold seats of petty authority.
Cleanse me of my bitter judgment of them.

Finally, Lord, let me fail those who love me.
Let my despair spread like poison in their veins.
Let their suffering at the hands of my disintegration
know no bounds that they may find the wisdom I could not.

A Prayer for Failure
David Keffer
Knoxville, TN
September 25, 2014