It’s Time

Prayers for Lewiston, Maine

The morning after horror,
at lanes regularly reserved
for just-in-time fun,
the city of Lewiston
remains still,
shocked, and silent —
its streets quiet. Red maples
and cranberry-tinged tears
blanket Fall’s warning.

Residents shelter
under pins, parkas
and in places no longer safe.
The only sounds
that of sirens, the once-rare
mourning dove, and a dropped pin.

Strike One.
Strike Two.
Strike Three.

Stop the counting.
Stop the games of war.
When will the violence,
the strikes – end?
Spare our children.
Spare future generations.

In spaces where
poetry, prose, and preaching
rarely meet, we can agree –

It’s far past time,
and in everyone’s lane,
to raise the bar on rights to own
and reclaim our own. Please.

As pleas proliferate
like Fall’s falling leaves,
we send prayers to Lewiston
and to all who know the city as home.

About the Poem

A prayer for a city in pain and a plea for change.

About the Author

Jen Schneider is an educator who lives, works, and writes in small spaces throughout Pennsylvania, US. Her most recent collection, 14 (plus) Reasons Why by Free Lines Press and Evening Walks: A Collection of Recollections by Ethelzine, are now available.

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