Didn’t quite make it all the way up the stairs

God, I pray today for all who
don’t quite make it up the stairs
of a day or a dream,
or maybe the treads and risers
of what seems like a whole life –

because they are so weary,
or there are tacks and splinters,
in the form of criticizing words,
or someone tells them they can’t,
and they believe it,
or they forget where they were going,
or wonder if anyone will greet them
when they get to the next story.

God, I pray for all those who
don’t quite make it up the stairs
because they go back to the bottom
to help a child get started,
or because they think they could
find a switch plate for an elder,
someone ahead of them,
who needs light to take the next step.

God, I pray for all those who
were told they deserve a crystal escalator,
and that they shouldn’t listen
to the sound of others’ stumbling
because it’s not their business.
I pray they do sit down and really watch
those with the hardest climbing.

God, I pray for all those who
have not quite made it up the stairs…yet,
because they know when
to lay down like a tired dog, rest,
get ready to take the next turn.


(photo credit to Jay Wolin, posted on Facebook page for “Clergy with Dogs” and he called it “Didn’t quite make it all the way up the stairs. Heart credit is the poem by Langston Hughes, “Mother to Son.”)


Maren C. Tirabassi with Maria Mankin have just edited the  chapbook, “Pitching our Tents: Poetry of Hospitality,” in support of the Peace Cathedral in Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia and she blogs at gifts in open hands at wordpress dot com.  


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