Prayer for Jamaica
Merciful Lord, spare Kingston’s ramshackle port,
spare Spanish Town and even Montego Bay.
Hammer the sea, but keep your storm offshore.
Let vessels safely reach their quays, and crewmen
lash them down. Let shantytowns stay roofed,
and coconuts not cannonball through walls.
Almighty, if it pleases you to rip
the tamarinds with sheets of windblown tin
and whip the alleyways with sparking wires,
if afterward a plague of flies and boils
afflicts the islanders, vouchsafe them faith
that they may build anew, yet believe in You.