Poison Pie Publishing House: A Prayer for the Awkward

A Prayer for the Awkward

Lord, in Your infinite wisdom,
You have seen fit to distribute
most unevenly the gifts of social
graces. I observe those who

turn a phrase with carefree ease,
who naturally draw to themselves
the company of others, for there
is nothing unexpected in wanting

to share in the security of quick
wit and ready laughter. Likewise
I admire those in whom you have
distilled a graceful discretion,

who know exactly the proper words
and volume at which to acknowledge
thanks or to express condolences, or
who rightly identify the moment

when silence is precisely needed,
or, better yet, who comfort without
advance calculation with respect to
the appropriate duration of an embrace.

It is said, these traits are trained,
in the well-bred, though here I
attribute them to Your generosity.
Regardless, whether through dearth

of breeding or a subtle distinction
in Your divine plan, there are those
to whom these graces are entirely
foreign. You need look no further

than I who beseech You with this prayer.
Pray for us, O Lord, for we walk
a crooked path, one of our own choice
though made not through the exercise

of volition but by rough nature alone.
The consequences of awkward
hands or feet or tongue are broad
and largely negative. It is said,

"To each according to his merits."
In this we accept the contrapositive,
"And to all others according
to their deficiencies." The awkward

understand their lot and have,
in time, grown quite accustomed
to it. So what is there to pray for?
Lord, God of Heaven and Earth,

Creator of all things good and evil,
accept this awkward, meandering prayer,
for I too issued from Your grace,
though I display the poorest of form
in my attempts to acknowledge it.

A Prayer for the Awkward
David Keffer
Knoxville, TN
October 15, 2014