There is a Muslim in Pakistan
who I’ve never met,
never seen on TV,
before this moment.
His left foot shifts with his weight
while standing in a boat.
His right foot depresses the sand
at the outgoing tide’s tug.
His nets are mended and the fog
disperses as the wind rises.
My mind holds this moment,
slows it down, while I insert
a prayer for his safety on the sea,
a prayer that calms his loving wife
who worries, a prayer for his young
sons and daughters
who require his hard work.
I do not know why I pray for him,
but I do so, earnestly.
Half a world away an oarsman
pulls his small craft into the unsteady sea,
sets sail and fishes so his family may eat,
so a few small coins may provide.
copyright © 2021 Kenneth P. Gurney