Friday, July 12, 2013

My Prayer for the Bad Things

One of the great joys of being a writer is that you hear and see the world differently. Everything is potential material. So, as Nora Ephon's mom told her, "Take notes."

I take note of a phrase we commonly use at the beginning of Friday night services. Our rabbi will encourage us to "thank G-d for the good things that happened this past week and the bad things that didn't."

Years ago, I mulled that line over (how the hell do I know what bad things didn't happen?) and wrote this poem. I'm not sure I've shared it with you, so this is either a rerun or a premiere. Either way, happy weekend!

This is my prayer for the bad things
That didn’t happen.
The car accident we avoided
The baby born early and doing fine
The bottle rocket that missed the house
The night you drove drunk and still got home
The IED that exploded before your squad arrived
The middle-of-the night call that was just a wrong number
The policeman at the door for a mailbox knocked down
The surgery that uncovered the unexpected tumor
The job I didn’t get at the shop that went under
The turbulence that simply rocked the plane
The dog I didn’t see and didn’t run over

The love I thought broke my heart opened it for you.

©2010 Jan Sokoloff Harness


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