Let us Pray.
I pray for young people
more than I pray for myself.
I pray for their journey
that they may start, with or without.
Crafted while staring at the roof
of some toilet size house
I pray that their dreams will find a chance to live
if only for a moment. I pray for pride
the kind of pride that lets you call your Cockroach ridden bedsitter
home. I pray for you
that you may live on your own
and perfect the art of hiding from your landlord, KPLC disconnection thugs
and your local water company officials.
I pray that you may have a loving ‘mama mboga’ in your hood
the kind that feeds you according to the size of your pocket
the kind that listens when you beg
the kind that will never let you die of hunger
the kind that always has ripe Ovocados, chopped Cabbage and strong tea
that you may appreciate your parents and the sacrifices they made to keep you alive
that you may learn how to spend wisely and to save for the future
without wasting away in the hands of Guarana and gum spouses
lord hear me, lord graciously hear me.
I pray for patience to find a home
in the hearts of these fiery souls
that demand for tomorrow, today.
God, that they may love their melting plastic ‘Made in China’ tarmacking shoes
just as much as they will love those designer pairs in the future.
I pray for rain
enough to cool their sweat stained skin
enough to wipe away perennial dust from their ‘condom’ shoes
just enough, to allow their faded Interview suit to dry
for tomorrow’s sake.
God, grant strength to these beautiful young girls
tired of dry lips, cracked feed and chipped nails
I pray for you overnight
that you may love your ‘dry wood’ weave now
peace and be still woman
better, flashy and expensive will come
but today, just for today
wash your mitumba heels, Iron your cheap silk blouses and fit in your oversize skirts
don’t sell yourself cheap for vanities that will slip through your fingers in a second
work for yours, and I promise you
one day when glory comes, and glory will come, it will be yours oh!it will be yours!
I pray for honour to rest on the shoulders of these young men
forced to carry the weight of the world
in their hearts,
I pray for wisdom, the same kind that possessed our grandfathers
I pray for restraint, not the kind that is found in the Vatican
but the kind that makes our fathers -most of our fathers,
show up everyday on our behalf,
the kind that makes our mothers smile, even if it is in their hearts,
I pray for thunder and fire to consume all pencil wearing young men
who without shame continue to suffocate future generations
in the name of fashion and swag
may the lord have mercy on your soul.
Lord send clothes
leaves, barks, more soil…anything
that all breasts may take cover lord
that all thighs may rest in peace lord
that all the six packs and six pack protectors will be tucked safely
oh! that we may never see one more butt crack father
more fabric lord, more fabric I pray!
because you see lord these young men may forget their youthful nakedness lord
you will forgive them lord
the internet will never forget
and lord you know how potential bosses, employers and investors, and lovers love the internet
Oh! clothes lord,not handerchief’s! by fire by fire!
I pray for chances
the kind of chances that will allow you to learn
to grow, to flourish and to thrive
I pray for wisdom
that you may recognize opportunities when they knock on your door
that you may embrace them even if they do no pay, or they do not pay well
even if you are too good, too educated, too polished for them
young man, grab them, run with them, work them- they may never come again!
and for you still waiting for that grey painted, hardwood decorated corner office
with a sexy front office assistant, a sleek car and an army of employees to nag
the thunder that will strike you is still weight lifting!
I pray for myself
that I will wait
patiently, not idling
learning what I can
perfecting what I know
shifting uneasily in my mitumba heels and blouses
patting my once black weave, proud of my roach box
waiting for my chance to show the world
what I am made of
and when I am done
when I am reminded of my torturous journey
I will stand tall