God, we pray for those for whom
lockdown and quarantine and shelter in place
do not mean loneliness.
We pray for those who, desperate to be alone,
always have someone there —
working from home, needing assistance,
or just … talking.
We pray for those who can’t work from home,
who look at the walls and wonder —
how long until the walls won’t be there
and food will be in short supply.
We pray for those with gloomy teenagers,
prostrate with the absence of friends
(like having their hearts cut out),
who are missing everything, everything, everything,
important in their lives
(parents are not on that list)
and have half the dishes in the house
crusted with food in their rooms.
We play for — whoops, pray for
parents and caregivers of small children
who have gone through the library books,
sidewalk chalk, toys, games, puzzles,
paper airplanes in the backyard,
and too much Paw Patrol,
who have negotiated fights,
said things they want to take back,
counted the hours till bedtime,
and do not want to be told —
one more time — they are lucky.
We name and pray for those
for whom home is never a safe place,
and for whom home
with a person under pressure … is deadly.
God, we pray for those who are not lonely,
and, therefore, everyone assumes are fine.
Do not give them your companionship,
O Holy One, but your blessing
of an inner experience
of personal space and free time.