Deconstructing the Lord’s Prayer
Our father, you are in heaven, right?
With all the hocus pocus here on earth,
Our squabbles must make you slink away
Tight under your turtle carapace
To dodge our nails all grimed-up with the truth.
I wanted to say,
“Hollow is your name,”
But that just seemed mean, an easy jab,
And you can dodge better those who box in time.
Besides, you live outside the ropes of even space.
Translucent be my soul—
(A line I’d add,
A widget to this song)
It’s grown so thin from sin,
Like fiberglass that gently flects the droplets
Of the rain,
Pattering arrows that I’ve mis-shot.
And shallow is my shame:
I’ve loved women, dropped them at the slightest fight,
The mildest melee.
The pain I’ve wrought
Makes waves that crash a shore I’ll never see.
Your kingdom came undone…
Your will is just the sun…
O lord, I make this up as I go along.
And no offense but you’ve had your chance to speak.
But I can’t help but try to speak for you.
Give us this day a bowl of rice,
some decent sleep.
Forgive the toe-stepping,
And for that matter, it’s only fair,
I clear the debts of all who stepped on me.
—This is how I thought it as a child.
Last, I know you won’t lead me into temptation—
This is the funny, poignant part of the prayer,
Even for an atheist like me.
And—here’s the line I always loved—
Deliver us—via smoke screen, with vanishing cream,
Like a newborn swaddled and swept up from a fire
Fast as lightning before the thunderclap—
From evil (which, God knows, is as gray
As your deliverance).
And that’s the part that makes you a superhero,
A light without the lamp,
So thanks for that.