Tuesday Poem

Prayer before Turning On the News

I sit before the TV screen
with remote control in hand.
I want it to stay this way.
This dark, quiet room
without a world in it.
This nothing, this sweet
nothing. The fire truck
toy on the shelf beneath the TV,
look how it saves
no one. In this room
there is nothing
burning. Dear God, it is
possible. You are the one
with wings. Shelter us.
Let something have been fixed today:
The deal among the nations signed,
the guns, all of them, taken away,
a woman believed,
a man contrite. A border
covered in dust. God,
I need to know what happened
to those who tried to cross.
What happened after the storm
and earthquake and fire.
I can’t be everywhere at once,
but you can. How can I convince you
we are worthy of miracles?
How much longer can I delay
the inevitable knowing,
the daily ritual of witness?
At least bear it with me,
dear God. Come sit
on the couch, put your feet up,
I’m making tea. Tell me
how this will end.
Tell me if there is a chance.
Or maybe we can bargain for peace?
Trade for redemption?
Give me something,
anything, before I let
the messengers into my room.
I will not look away.
Promise me
you won’t either.

by Hila Ratzabi
Narrative Magazine