If Only I Weren’t Distracted

Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable,

I used to call them “Squirrel Days,” O Jesus.
Before I moved here to this island without squirrels,
it was my tag for days when concentration
failed, when focus flailed, when even consciousness would fade.

whatever is just, whatever is pure,

It’s funny how the unimportant can assume
such prominence and even over what is right
before me. Who needs the phone to ring or text to buzz
when adolescent disappointments still possess me?

whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable,

I cannot even concentrate upon the evils, cannot choose
which one is worst, which ones are worse, which ones
are dangerously proximate. Sufficient for this year
are evils, rages, suffering arising in a single day!

if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise,

Incarcerated children, children still not reunited with their parents,
refugees denied a hearing, tear gas fired at civilians,
a pandemic dismissed despite two hundred thousand graves,
a tax break for the rich and no relief for those now unemployed.

think about these things.

Oh, I’ll try to follow Paul’s advice, dear Jesus, but
I am… somewhat… distracted.

A poem/prayer based on Philippians 4:1-9, the Revised Common Lectionary Second Reading for Year A, Proper 23 (28).

Distracted photo by Eric Anderson.

2 responses to “If Only I Weren’t Distracted

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