December 16: Wishes Are Children

For those of you whose hearts will ache tonight
I wish with all of mine that you’ll find peace.
For those in pain, may comfort slake tonight
Your agony, and lead to its surcease.

For those who grieve, good memories I pray,
And justice for the ranks of the oppressed,
The lonely, may joy loneliness allay,
With equilibrium for the depressed.

Is it delusion, when my cheeks grow wet,
To think I send catharsis to all nations,
Into the hearts of those I’ve never met
And help alleviate their tribulations?

Most likely- yet I know I’d rather err
Upon the side of empathy and care.

Title from Stephen Sondheim’s “Children Will Listen.”

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