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A Prayer For the Tree of Life

By Lynn M. Acquafondata

The tree of life stood tall on a quiet, shaded road until the bullets began to fly

Bullets ripped apart our family and friends, known and unknown spraying the blood we share with our screams

We all stood in the line of fire

Our bodies, our families, our homes, our communities as fragile as our siblings’

Once tender green sprouts, the shooter betrayed us all
Destroying what he desperately needed but would not understand

He pushed away the sheltering roots that could have held and healed him and us, then spread decay to our multi-colored leaves with each poisonous word ejected and absorbed

We didn’t notice until his wound became our wound, dying with our humanity, breaking our branches with the guns

We can let the tree of life fall at his feet with our hate and rage
Or we can try to stand still and feel the earth

Stretch our roots tenderly into the ground and take in your strength

We can help raise each others’ bowed trunks, gently, looking at our brokenness with compassion

We can reach across diversity and divisions, letting our roots intertwine in support, hand to hand, heart to heart, community to community

Help us hold each other up as you wash us, love us, heal us and admire the beauty growing together through us in our world.

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