Poison Pie Publishing House: A Prayer for the Unsympathetic

A Prayer for the Unsympathetic

Lord, I trouble You today with a prayer
for those, who having been raised
in a hardscrabble life, overcome
the limitations of the poverty

and the violence of their origins
to become modestly successful
professionals, in as much as they
are able to provide for their families

food, every night, on the table,
a warm bed under a dry roof.
I pray for them because, all too often,
they found little help in their struggles

and have therefore emerged with
a distorted sense of the importance
of self-reliance, which colors
their perception, numbing them

to the suffering of others, who were
blessed with neither the abilities
nor the determination to surmount
formidable odds. I pray for them

because not only do they lack sympathy
for others, but they themselves
are unsympathetic, often proudly so.
No one else will pray for them

and they would have it no other way.
Lord, I pray for those who escaped
and didn't look back for fear of losing
their will upon seeing whom they left behind.

A Prayer for the Unsympathetic
David Keffer
Knoxville, TN
November 25, 2014