Memory Reruns: A Prayer Poem
A prayer poem by the Rev. Jessica Lynn Ross in reflection on the violence in Ferguson, Missouri:
As the memories return
Like grass that finds its way back to a lawn just mowed
Like fire igniting from embers that were long thought dead and gone
Like songs of strange fruit that lull to mind the horror of what was
Memories of riding the bus in the city watching a lady of years
I wanted to help her get up the steps, but she just grabbed her bag
And hugged it to her chest.
Memories of fire hydrants drowning out our cries.
Memories of cold hearts of men forcing
Satiation of their unwanted desires
Memories of lines for little or nothing
Waiting, hoping, for help, compassion, sense.
Showers of insults, unprovoked, attacks for just being black.
Storms of hate that never seem to abate
And clouds of darkness, bitterness, more and more of late.
Emmett Till and 4 little girls thrust forward like raging rivers inside lulling streams
Weapons at the ready,
An ax to cut a thread
A bed of worry once again
Put your hands up
Pray for peace
Praise The Lord
Justice will prevail for we serve
God who cannot fail.
My hands are up to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ
As my mind stays on Christ
And my heart cries out for justice and peace
As my eyes drench in tears
My soul will humbly praise The Lord,
The author of my years
My strength, my redeemer, my saving grace
Lord grant me the strength to
And never give up.
For my hope in you can never be shot down.
Until that day when every knee shall bow.
And every tongue confess
That Jesus Christ is
Lord of heaven and earth.
The Rev. Jessica Lynn Ross is currently pastor of Mother Zoar United Methodist Church, a congregation serving in the North Philadelphia areas since 1794. She is also the congregation’s first female pastor.