God, who gave us strong backs,
why are you breaking them?
Challenge meets challenge,
meets hard place,
The lucky ones breathe through each trial,
breath after breath,
inhale and out.
The unlucky ones breathe labored –
ventilators and illness,
poverty and hate.
Or they have their breath stolen,
choking on 400 years of outrage.
A psalm of protest, God,
for challenge upon challenge,
upon hard place,
A psalm of lamentation
for injustice hanging
on the filthy laundry line of history,
weighed down by complacency, complicity,
and callous comfort
with the what-is of our lives.
Grant us unflinching eyes
that pierce veils
of untruths and delusions.
Circumcise our hearts
to embrace self-sacrifice,
to learn new dance-steps
as old as time,
to dig into our pocketbooks
and move our feet on right paths,
to do the hard labor of loving-
kindness and justice.
You who are Spirit and Breath of Life,
fill us with breath and fearless grit.
Take us, tired and poor as we are,
huddled masses yearning,
that we may, in our time, in our lifetimes, glimpse
that teeming shore and call it Holy,
hail it Just, and name it Love,
a psalm of hope
like catching a breeze
or glimpsing daybreak
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