Distraction (Morning Prayer)

by Jeffrey Essmann

The Lord is my shepherd;
there is nothing I shall want. 
Fresh and green are the pastures 
where he gives me repose. 
Near restful waters he leads me; 
(rent; remember the rent…)
to revive my drooping spirit.
(deposit that check…)

He guides me along the right path;
he is true to his name.
Though I should walk in the valley of the shadow of darkness
(change that lightbulb…)
no evil would I fear.
You are there with your crook and your staff;
(My God! that dog!...)
with these you give me comfort. 

You have prepared a banquet for me
(maybe meatloaf for dinner…) 
in the sight of my foes.
(maybe spaghetti…) 
My head you have anointed with oil; 
(no: meatloaf…)
my cup is overflowing.
(mashed potatoes...)

Surely goodness (beans…) and mercy shall follow me
(get ketchup…) all the (Heinz…) days of my life. 
In the Lord’s (“57 Varieties…) own house shall I dwell 
(is it 57?...)
for ever and ever.
(yeah: definitely meatloaf…)

Jeffrey Essmann is an essayist and poet living in New York. His poetry has appeared in numerous magazines and literary journals, among them Dappled Things, the St. Austin ReviewThe Society of Classical PoetsAmethyst ReviewAgape ReviewAmerica MagazineU.S. Catholic, Heart of Flesh Literary Journal, Edge of FaithPensive, and various venues of the Benedictine monastery with which he is an oblate. He is editor of the Catholic Poetry Room page on the Integrated Catholic Life website.

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