We can’t be surely, Lord, the only five
In all the world who call to you today.
In Africa or Asia—Sheepshead Bay—
There must be more who keep Your Name alive.
There must be more who on their knees derive
Some transient hope within the world’s dismay;
Some kinder light to guide them on their way
And finer grace to help their souls revive.
But we five here are asking, if you please,
For help with things like money and disease,
And blessings now as we’ve been blessed before.
And me, if I could just be half as nice
As Juan, the guy who owns the corner store
And every morning throws the sparrows rice.
Jeffrey Essmann is an essayist and poet living in New York. His work has appeared in numerous magazines and literary journals, among them America Magazine, Dappled Things, the St. Austin Review and The Road Less Traveled. He is a Benedictine oblate of Mt. Saviour Monastery.