N.C. Department of Correction--Correction News--May 1997

A Prayer for Children

We pray for children

who put chocolate fingers everywhere,

who like to be tickled,

who stomp in puddles and ruin their new pants,

who sneak Popsicles before supper,

who erase holes in math workbooks,

who an never find their shoes.


And we pray for those

who stare at photographers from behind barbed wire,

whoíve never squeaked across the floor in new sneakers,

who never "counted potatoes",

who are born in places we wouldnít be caught dead,

who never go to the circus,

who live in an X-rated world.


We pray for children

who bring us sticky kisses and fistfuls of dandelions,

who sleep with the dog and bury goldfish,

who hugs in a hurry and forget their lunch money,

who cover themselves with Band-Aids and sing off-key,

who squeeze toothpaste all over the sink,

who slurp their soup.


And we pray for those

who never get dessert,

who watch their parents watch them die,

who have no safe blanket to drag behind,

who canít find any bread to steal,

who donít have any rooms to clean up,

whose pictures arenít on anybodyís dresser,

whose monsters are real.


We pray for children

who spend all their allowance before Tuesday,

who throw tantrums in the grocery store

and pick at their food,

who like ghost stories,

who shove dirty clothes under the bed

and never rinse out the tub,

who get visits from the tooth fairy,

who donít like to be kissed in front of the carpool,

who squirm in church and scream in the phone,

whose tears we sometimes laugh at

and whose smiles can make us cry.


And we pray for those

whose nightmares come in the daytime,

who will eat anything,

who have never seen a dentist,

who arenít spoiled by anybody,

who go to bed hungry and cry themselves to sleep,

who live and move, but have no being.


We pray for children

who want to be carried,

and for those who must.

For those we never give up on,

and for those who donít get a chance.

For those we smother,

and for those who will grab the hand of anybody

kind enough to offer.


--Ina Hughs

NC DOC Correction News- May 1997
NC Department of Correction News
NC Department of Correction Homepage