Praying hands

I have prayers on my hands –
one hand is Syria
and the other is heroin.

I wake up in the morning
and look at my hands,
left and right,
hoping I will not see —

the Syrian child
standing in the snow,
by some razor wire border,
or huddled at home
under the terrible sound
of Russian and American bickering
about just where exactly
they should bomb –

the infants born addicted
every day
at my small local hospital,
and the suggestion
that we buy some Narcan
to keep at the church.

Scholars call it a detail
in the broader story
of those last Jerusalem days,
but I know
the greatest temptation
I ever face
is Pilate’s bowl.

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