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Black Friday Prayer (Slight Return)

by Tony Whitaker

I couldn’t help but hear awaiting
in another line on this trying day
when all come out to find their prey
a young woman behind me harping
having to wait so long, merely just to pay

I wonder if she ever ponders
the millions so far away
in scant and darkened lives who wait
as muffled voices shuffle
in lines so long
just for a bowl of rice

I wonder if ever stopping to think
with all she has this day
a poor man's wife is taken
merely for someone's pleasure
before a bullet takes her life away

If she ever feels so weak
from weeks with nothing to eat
or looking into her dying child’s eyes
so full of fear covered with flies
a hungered bloated belly
waiting in turn to die

If she ever gets so cold
not able to feel her feet
wandering dark and sinful streets
waiting for a warm safe shelter
where there are so many others
a hope in finding somewhere to sleep

Thank You Lord for all the joys
in a land so free from such strife
these things we take for granted
where others now lose a loved one
or their own tortured life

God please guide this aging mind
as I turn around to speak in kind
somehow grasping this ungrateful girl
opening her folded face
to read the gilded pages
in her illiterate regal mind

While others a world away
wait in another line
trying their best
to stave off death
for a loved one or their self

And others shaking standing scared
staring into some soldier's angry eyes
waiting to breathe their last
before they fall to die


Author's Note: Thank you Elizabeth Jill for reminding me how special this poem is to me. This is a rewrite of that poem, on which you commented, I wrote after a shopping experience on Black Friday, 2007. No matter what your religion, please thank your God for all you have, while others - have not.

Posted on 11/29/2009
Copyright © 2021 Tony Whitaker

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Kristina Woodhill on 11/29/09 at 05:17 PM

This gives some very important perspective to our silly consumer lives. Thank you, Tony.

Posted by Gregory O'Neill on 11/29/09 at 07:18 PM

Relevant, totally relavent...and I'm afraid it will only grow more so over the rolling years to come. Well done, without lowering to superficial rant. Thanks.

Posted by Glenn Currier on 11/30/09 at 03:01 AM

Tony, how you capture the true sentiments of the Founder who always had a bias for the bottom, for the dispossessed, the rejected, the marginalized. Your poem should be posted on the windows of mall stores and on the walls of Walmart. I agree with what Greg and Garth said above. Your poem is tender and compassionate without being a rant. Thanks for this great reminder. Brilliant.

Posted by Elizabeth Jill on 12/03/09 at 10:16 PM

Walgreen's accepted it for this season, all credit to you, Tony. And an Angel named vestal.
namaste grace and peace

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