[ # 89 of My Favourite Short Poems ]
Prayer of a Poor Pedestrian
O God, who filled all heaven with stars
And then all earth with motor cars,
Make room within thy cosmic plan
For me, a poor pedestrian.
Spread Thou before me, I entreat,
A threadlike pathway for my feet;
And do thou watch me lest I stray
From this, Thy straight and narrow way.
Give me an ear, alert, acute,
For each swift car’s peremptory hoot:
Teach me to judge its headlong pace
And dodge it with a nimble grace.
When driver’s looks and words are black
Restrain me, Lord, from answering back:
O bless me with a nature meek
To bear with smiles each narrow squeak.
And if one day Thy watchful eye
Should be withdrawn, and I should die,
One boon I crave, upon my knees:
Exonerate the driver, please.
This poem is re-printed from Gyles Brandreth’s ‘The Joy of Lex’ (Robson Books 1987). It was originally published in ‘Prayers and Graces’ by Allen M.Laing. Pan Books, 1981.