Poison Pie Publishing House: A Prayer for the Exhausted

A Prayer for the Exhausted

Lord, I come before You with another request
to defy the laws of physics and to stretch tonight
lengthwise, inserting unbeknownst to the keenest
atomic chronometers a few extra hours of sleep.

Let all those who are exhausted be replenished.
Let this gift be dispersed indiscriminately,
without regard for the cause or extent of fatigue.
Comfort no less the aged, who suffer sleeplessness

due to bodily aches that rouse them in the night,
than young parents who sacrifice sleep to work
two jobs and for whom sleep becomes a restless guilt,
conceding the time at home they give to their children

is lacking in the basic elements that would otherwise
lead to what we shall euphemistically refer to as
"positive life outcomes". Lord, quiet their children
and let the parents sleep, if only an extra fifteen minutes.

As for those who drag and stumble through the day
due to an indomitable exercise of poor choice,
who through drunken revelry or drug-induced catatonia
dissipate entire nights without registry in memory,

relieve them too, O Lord, for the all-encompassing sleep
I have in mind cannot discern good from evil.
Let it slide dreamlessly across the land like a fog
or a wave of oblivion. In its wake, let the people

of the world rise renewed. It is, at best, a temporary
remedy I request. Its value shall be spent by the end
of the day, but I ask it all the same because, in the depths
of exhaustion, each minute is an eternity not to be rejected.

A Prayer for the Exhausted
David Keffer
Knoxville, TN
October 30, 2014