We hold the Earth
In hands that choose
To share its life
Or close and choke that life with human greed.
We hold the sun
Whose powered rays can light our world
And power Earth
Or for good.
Whose rays can burn five billion years
Beyond the finite worlds
Our hands control.
We hold the heavens,
Sparkled with a God’s clear gaze,
That light the nights of Earth since time began
And tremble as we cloud that light
With strident glares of bombs’ displays.
We hold the wind and air
Whose cycles power Earth with energy and life
Whose being now is choked and burned
By human power’s threat.
We hold the waters of the Earth
And weeping, share
With half our globe
Where water’s pure and cleansing forces do not flow.
We hold within our hands
The power to caress and nurture Earth,
To kindle from Earth’s hearths a world of peace,
Or fan the holocaustic flames of nuclear war.
We hold with reverent awe the fruitful Earth
That mothers all,
That makes us one,
And weep to see the face we mar
We hold with humbled hands our tangled tapestry
Of centuries and worlds that mar our Earth …
We hold the threads of pain,
The tears we wove…
We hold the fringe of hope
That lives at-one with Earth
And with Earth’s God
Will one day live in peace.
We hold them all
The shame …
The pain …
That birth the hope …
… The hope
That Earth so graced by God
Will mother once again
A home where God can dwell.
Ann Marie Slavin, OSF
©2015 Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia. Poetry for Prayer: Volume III. All rights reserved.