• Cynthia Dagnal-Myron

A prayer for you as you venture forth from isolation. Or...not...

I'm terribly confused. We're being told to go out and die. In the name of commerce.

Angry people with big guns and big posters with lots of misspelled words on them have decided that the virus is a leftist. Hellbent on turning us all into socialists. Or communists.

Or just wimps--wimps with small penises, if you're male. They really said that, I'm not making it up. That lefty guys are "smaller," in every way, than the AK totin', obscenity spittin' dudes on those capital steps.

I understand the rage. Millions of people have lost jobs. Millions of people have no income. NO income. And nobody's answering the phones when they call about unemployment compensation.

And it's the little businesses, the hard-earned, just getting off the ground, once in a lifetime dream ones, that suffered most. And those promised loans are being very selectively doled out. No minorities need apply.

We're in pain from 'way more than this virus. And we have a president who mostly just cares about his own pain. And who abandoned us to deal with ours on our own from day one, pretty much.

Every day he tells us everything is fine and he's done all he can. And we can see and feel that that's not true. But we're still having trouble finding out what to do about it. Who to believe and how to proceed.

But Rob Brezny never fails me. Every week, along with his horoscopes--the only ones I read--he offers up a gem or two. Poetry, his own inspirational essays and messages...quotes, tips, little tidbits strewn like breadcrumbs for us to follow.

He can't fix the fix we're in. But he can tell us how to "read" it. And use it. And be stronger and wiser for having endured it.

This week, he gave us this:


Dear Lord,

In this our hour of doorknobs and droplets,

when masks have canceled our personalities;

in this our hour of prickling perimeters, sinister surfaces,

defeated bodies, and victorious abstractions,

when some of us are stepping into rooms humid with contagion,

and some of us are standing in the pasta aisle;

in this our hour of vacant parks and boarded-up hoops,

when we miss the sky-high roar of the city

and hear instead the tarp that flaps on the unfinished roof,

the squirrel giving his hingelike cry, and the siren constantly passing,

to You we send up our prayer, as follows:

Let not heebie-jeebies become our religion,

our new ideology, with its own jargon.

Fortify us, Lord. Show us how.

What would your saints be doing now?

Saint Francis, he was a fan of the human.

He’d be rolling naked on Boston Common.

He’d be sharing a bottle. No mask, no gloves,

shielded only by burning love.

But I don’t think we’re in the mood

for feats of antic beatitude.

In New York City, and in Madrid,

the saints maintain the rumbling grid.

Bless the mailman, and equally bless

the bus driver, vector of steadfastness.

Protect the bravest, the best we’ve got.

Protect the rest of us, why not.

And if the virus that took John Prine

comes, as it may, for me and mine,

although we’ve mostly stayed indoors,

well—then, as ever, we’re all Yours.

Until further notice,


—by James Parker


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