Dan Bern - Kid's Prayer

So sad, so sad the news

Come our way this morning

Like a bad bad dream

A dream that you’d never even talk about

In a school, a school

A place where we send our precious children

The only place of innocence the world might ever let them know

And barely aware of the odds against existence in the first place

Of love and fertility and risk of a baby being born

And of clothes and food and fear and maybe relocation

Of sickness, recovery, of music lessons, painting the bedroom

And lingering over eggs and thoughts and sleepy conversations

And plans for the weekend

One last pause to say goodbye

And a glance at the clock

And the grabbing of the sandwich and the notebook

Confident of nothing but the unbroken days that they've been granted

But comes a child

A child so full of anger and hatred

Barely aware of the genesis coursing through his veins

With a gun, a gun

Deaf and blind deliverer of madness

Skilled beyond his own unformulated brain

And with his hand in a fist

And his soul in a knot

And his heart racing

And his mind sick with images

His slim shoulders finally feeling tall

And his fellow creatures

Students and their crushes and their daydreams

Struggling to unwrap the ancient secrets of geometry

He pulls from his coat the instrument to shatter all forevers

In a random blaze of insides and blood and endless now

And noise and flash and more and not even when it's over

Can any so much as summon up the sanity to scream

Then on the floor his classmates blown down and choking

As he lays his weapon on his desk, hardly sure he isn't dreaming

And all the world descends and offers up their condolence

And offers up their theories what went wrong

And who and why and when and how

It's all the killing day and night on television

It's all the movies where violence is as natural as breathing

It's guns and bullets as easily obtainable as candy

It's video games where you kill and begin to think it's real

It's people not having God in their lives anymore

Or it's all of it, or none of it, or some of it, or various combinations

And all those theories sound pretty reasonable, I guess

Though I ain't no scientist

I ain't no figurer of statistics

I ain't no theologist

Or psychologist or biologist

All I can do is offer up a prayer of my own

Talk to your kids

Play with your kids

Tell them your dreams

And your disappointments

Listen with your kids

Listen to your kids

Watch your kids

Let your kids watch you

Tell your kids the truth

Best as you can tell it

No use telling lies

Your kids can always smell it

Cook for your kids

Let your kids cook for you

Sing with your kids

Teach your kids the blues

Learn their games

Teach them yours

Touch your kids

Find out what they know

Be sad with your kids

Be stupid with your kids

Learn with your kids

Cry with you kids

Be yourself with your kids

Be real with your kids

Embarrass your kids

Let them embarrass you

Be strong with your kids

Be tough with your kids

Be firm with your kids

Say "No" to your kids

Say "Yes" to your kids

Take it easy on your kids

You were a kid

Not so long ago

There are things you know

Your kids will never know

There’s places they live

Where you will never go

So dance with your kids

Paint with your kids

Walk with your kids

Tell stories to your kids

Watch movies with your kids

Eat popcorn with your kids

Tell secrets to your kids

Stop for rainbows with your kids

One day your kids

Won't be kids

And maybe they'll have kids of their own

Let’s hope they talk to their kids

Play with their kids

Tell them their dreams

And their disappointments

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