Tucked tightly under covers,
Doted on by elder folks,
A world away from worry,
I prayed five-year-old’s blessings
For freedom:
Upon hostages—whatever those were—
Endangered TV characters trapped
In a dangerous TV place.

Packed tightly in velvet pews
Touched by God’s slain son’s spirit,
In holy sanctuary,
I prayed as an innocent
For freedom:
From original sins’ consequences,
For salvation from imperfections,
For mercy from a jealous God.

Carefree and innocent,
Solemn and careless,
Careful and obsessed,
Consumed and caring:
            Care for home stock.

Creased neatly in my closet,
A creature I knew God made,
Hiding amongst wire hangers,
I prayed, guilt-ridden, confused,
For freedom:
From the terrors of honesty to self,
To openly love those I would love:
Being me, uninterrupted.

Cornered by empty bottles,
Short of full addictions:
Sloth: horned inebriations.
I prayed, self-demon lassoed,
For freedom:
From the saccharine priests of bacchanalia,
From the false prophets of escapism:
To fly high on these angel’s wings.

Imprisoned by bureaucrats,
Promises of safety,
Armed against stability.
I prayed, against self interests,
For freedom:
From fear of enemies on our borders,
From danger from neighbors on my doorstep,
To trust democracy’s power:

Against the walls of separation,
For the links of community,
For progress and equity,
For hostages’ freedoms:  
            Fully Stockholmed.

Wrapped in nostalgia’s embrace,
Rewriting history,
Remembering peoples’ best,
I pray, against cynics’ cries,
For freedom:
To re-remember the best in people,
To reinvest hope in life’s capital,
To be love’s most willing hostage.


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