from the archives – my experiment with the ballad form

Prayer Song to Grandma Lena Rankin Maxwell

Early, early in the morning
just before the break of day,
I arise, and count my blessings,
and fall to my knees to pray.

And I thank the Gracious Master
and I praise His name so sweet,
and I pour out all my troubles,
and I leave them at His feet.

“Prayer is better,” said the wise man
“than another hour’s snooze,
it will pick you up much higher
than some other stuff you use.”

Late at evening after dealing
With the problems of the day,
All bewildered and disheartened
I fall to my knees and pray.

And I thank the Gracious Master
for his grace in helping me
through another day of passage
on life’s cold and stormy sea.

“Prayer is better,” said the wise man
“than that wine or weed or dope.
It will soothe away your heartache,
it will fill you up with hope.”

St. Louis, October 1991

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