Requiem for my friend


Now come clear before me
The chances lost and given
The hundred times you signed a warrant for your own destruction
The thousand ways you tried to shield yourself and others
The afternoons of trying to present yourself but ending up on the other side
Of town by mistake or absent without a word and
I feared our finding would come too late

When you got your days mixed up and missed what was most precious
How those who loved you waited
Curled themselves into knots of childish longing
And then went home alone
Or leaped for joy when someone resembling you emerged –
The shame that came across their faces when they saw

So frail
So like a child yourself
Ruled by harsh masters who lied and cheated, stole
The color from your skin, the choices from your will when everything was at stake
You wept a lot, helplessly and your eyes refused to focus
And you drifted gently in and out

I hope at the last
When the body they battered at your hand refused to go further
Lay down slow for its last great sleep
And no one on this earth could undo what was done
I hope you came
Like the child you were
And trusted yourself to his mercy

I who have no stated framework for prayers that reach across the last divide
Find myself praying hard
For a soul
I beg that when your light went out
Your face was bathed in glory
And you met the one you sought down all the crooked alleyways of hunger

I pray he found you.
Now come clear before me
All the chances lost and given, the best we knew
Surely we had more.
Now in a childish heart is curled a boy forever waiting for his mother


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Priscilla F.
3 years ago

Oh Shari. All I can do is weep to read those words. The heartache this world holds, is sometimes just too much…

Kendra Sensenig
3 years ago

This ????

3 years ago

Yes. These words.

Ellen Gracie
3 years ago

Awh, Shari! Beautiful. Prayers ascend for her and for you.

3 years ago


Edna Yoder
3 years ago

I have to tell you how this touched my heart. We have adoptions pending for both our grandson and granddaughter. Both their bio mommys are addicted to drugs. Yesterday when my daughter sent me the adoption announcement to review, I wept tears of joy for ourselves, mingled with tears of grief and mourning for our grandson’s bio mom and grandmother. It is the most conflicted feeling I ever have had or even could imagine. Then this morning, I opened your post here, and my heart just broke with yours. How many tears I have shed for these young women who would be good mothers like God created them to be but for that “harsh master who lied and cheated, stole the color from their skin, the choices from their will…” I wait, anguished, on their Creator God and the Just Judge of all the earth to execute Just Mercy. And I pray, heartfelt, for that “little boy forever waiting for his mother”. Oh, God, have mercy!

Wanna B. Writer
3 years ago

“And you met the one you sought down all the crooked alleyways of hunger.”…. Shame, shame on us who know the One they seek, when we despise them for their seeking.
I don’t know you in person, and lack a real life reference for these words. But they stirred deep longings for the throngs of wasted lives and broken little hearts that are everywhere.

3 years ago

I never comment, but this. For me, this is names, faces, souls now “across the last divide” in spite of “chances lost and given.” Profound words, strangely healing. Thank you.

Beth R.
3 years ago

My heart is just breaking reading this. I feel like directly or indirectly, we are are all familiar with every word of this, and are ALL touched. So many prayers for the broken and those who love them.

3 years ago

Most merciful Father, hear this prayer.

3 years ago

???????????????????????? I am so sorry.

Foster Mom
3 years ago

I keep coming back to this and reading it again and again. Not least because I love the imagery so much. “…the body they battered at your hand…” “…the one you sought down all the crooked alleyways of hunger…” Heartbreakingly beautiful.
But also, as a foster mom this tears at my heart so much. We do everything in our power to see to it that the children in our care do not return to an unsafe situation. But who is doing that for the parents? Who is personally invested and really cares that they heal? Often the answer is: no one. I know as individuals we can’t reach around to everyone, but… ????

3 years ago

???? thank you for this gift. I didn’t have words for this and now I do. I’m with you in stubbornly clinging to the prayer + hope that when our faith becomes sight we will meet them, as they were created to be: radiant and free in the presence of the God of Hope.

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