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There goes the clocktower, singing its old, mournful song once again. And so time goes on. One can almost hear its footsteps as it passes through the alley, leaving only the hollow echos that we call memories. It’s funny— time stretches on for eternity, and yet our fates are determined in the briefest of moments, for better or for worse.

You are the one who jewels the spider’s web, crowning it with the morning dew. You are the one who paints each leaf golden with Autumn’s arrival. You created all of the greatest beauties and wonders of this Earth.

You created my son.

And you are the one who took him away from me. All of the time in his life led up to one single moment, and then he was gone, like a strike of lightning.

It must be a small gate dividing life and death. People pass through it almost before we can realize it. And you’re the Keeper of that gate. You dictate who stays and who leaves. And you chose that my son must cross over.

I don’t know why. I don’t know if I’ll ever know why. Though I have cried to you with all of my heart, your answers always come as a faint whisper, barely more than a spark along a wire.

Who are you, really? Through you I have made it through countless struggles and endured so much more than I could on my own. You have lifted me when I was wounded and given me the strength to carry on. You are my teacher and my healer. You are my God. And you are the thief who stole my son’s life. All of our hopes and dreams for him were snatched away like so much smoke on the wind. How could you? He was just a child! He was only four years old.

Just four.

I have seen your hand in my life countless times. In the darkest storms you have led me through, and shown me beauty where I could never have imagined it. I know that I will see you again, face to face, before too long. But until then, I pray— please— watch over him. Please, please watch over him. He was too young to look out for himself. Please, help him. Guard him as a mountain guards its hidden ore.

And the harsh falcon its flightless young.

Author Notes: This is a monologue I wrote for one of my high school theater classes, based off of the poem "Prayer" by Dana Gioia. I was first introduced to this poem as a choral song my brother performed. A couple of years later, I attended a concert where they performed the same piece, and I learned the story behind the poem: A father whose first son died at the age of 4 due to SIDS. Listening to the lyrics again gave me a completely different perspective of the song, and it was all I could do to keep from sobbing in the middle of the performance. The emotions I felt were so powerful that I decided to write and perform this monologue for my class, and it's still my favorite thing I've ever performed for any of my classes.
Here's a recording of the song:

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3 Apr, 2021
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