For the last of the best, those who lived through the test, until eternal rest. To those from the west, lost to the beast of the east and the old and the cold, allergic to mold, the ones in the fold, from the top to the shop of Mom and Pop and a dream maker, a heart staker, a pacemaker. To the haters, the always-laters, the plan, the man, anyone who can, to those who think they can't or sit in fear every year. For those you hold dear. For those who skate, love to mate, just want a date, feel second rate, can't count to eight. For those who are blind, don't mind, are unkind, fall behind, cook with orange rind.

For all who have a name, play a game, think they're not the same, for the ones who have gone lame. For those who love words but hate birds, tuffet Mary and her curds, for the ones in perfect health, those with wealth, ones who live in stealth. For those who get things done, always on the run, everyone under the sun. For the rain on cloudy days, old ways, a job that underpays. For those who work every day, those who do not pray, for those who pick a fight, feel they're always in the right, are uptight, see no light. For those at the end, round the bend, on the mend, need a friend, need a house or a car, save money in a jar, have traveled very far.

For those who have no home, write in poem, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, for those who hold onto the past, want it all to last. For those who still have hope, just need some rope, smoke dope. For those who tough it out, rant and shout, don't know what life is all about. For the child who is brave, for the bouncer at a rave, for the brother who is dead, for the glorious color red, for the people who are real, not afraid to feel, even those who steal. For those who have to lie, for any reason why, for the evening sky and the dark it brings, marriage rings, good hands, foreign lands, all the people who belong or are treated wrong, can sing their own song.

For lonesome people everywhere, for those who do not care, in praise of curly hair, comfortable underwear, the right to bear. For babies and their smiles, for connections over miles. For the ones who fly the planes, work on trains, are versed in capital gains, live out on the plains. For the awkward teens, the drag queens, for those who've taken vows, still use ploughs, till the land. For those who take a stand, hold a dying hand, dance across the sand, for aging rockers in a band. For those who love to cook, read a book, pretend they're Captain Hook. For those who have hard luck, like to fuck, drive a fancy truck. For those who are confused, easily amused, for those who are refused. For the future of us all, for those who answer any call. For the sick and the sad, for the single Mom or Dad.

For simple things like cold beer, hockey season dread and cheer. For the winners, the sinners, the beginners. For the losers, the boozers, the picky choosers. For those who believe they are the mask, for those who just do the task, for the rude and the crude, for the attitude of The Dude. For the editors of light and sound, for the love of life, for whoever you call your wife. For the free and the oppressed, the distressed, the mistressed. For the pessimists and their bags of doom, for the memory of a sunny room. For fish in tanks or free, for the rivers and the sea.

For the life and death of every star, light on earth or from afar. For those whose wishes were not granted. For the gardener and every seed he's planted. For those who break down, leave town, always frown, for everyone who is a clown. For their gift of floppy shoes, impervious to taunts and boos. For a woman's right to choose. For the laughter that hurts but heals, for old family movies on faded reels, for slithery snakes and elver eels, roller coaster squeals, classic cars with original wheels. For those who cannot walk or talk, write with chalk, are allergic to the cure of Jonas Salk.

For whence we came, got our name, swore never to be the same. For the parents who live to see what their children grow up to be. For those who get past Me-Me-Me, for the critics, for the praisers, for the half-mast flag raisers. For the broken, for the fixed, for anyone feeling mixed. For the moon, for the madness, sadness, oh-so-radness. For those who give more than they should, for the takers of the good. For the depleted, deleted, repeated, retreated. For whatever talents and tools we bring, to the fiery wrestling ring. For our baggage, new or old, for heat, humidity, for common cold. For what's inside, may it fly out, with an essay, with a shout. For each daylog, each review, for each bit of me, of you. For each bag left at the door, for each chance taken, each risk and more. For righting wrongs, for stepping up, for looking past the half-full cup.

For men and women, warriors all, for those who've fallen, for those who still fall. For the judge, for the jury, for everybody and their story. For the jailed and the jailer, the armchair sailor. For real prisons and the ones we make ourselves, for the Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus and all the elves. To the toys of childhood on dusty shelves. For the good and the bad and the in-between, for the Wizard of Oz behind the screen. For the deep sleepers, the silent weepers, the chorus of spring peepers. For the gospel singers, the dead ringers, the bling-blingers, the left and right wingers.

For bell tollers, holy rollers, people losing their molars. For the chatters, the Mad Hatters, southpaw batters. For babysitters, tobacco quitters, for the love of your life, daily strife, every falling knife. For the ref and his skates, bad call, prayers lost in the Wailing Wall. For angels, for devils, friends or foes all, for getting back up whenever you fall. For the rain runners, tan-sunners, machine gunners to those who read news, polish empty church pews or shine shoes.

For the nice, for the neat, for those who have small feet. For the blue jeans, for the suits, for the hoodies and combat boots. For the whiskey, for the sour, for the last one sitting at Happy Hour. For the bartender and his bar. For a decent jam of jar. For the teapot, for the tea, even the user of instant coffee. For the teachers, good and bad, pay them well or they'll be sad. Do I believe there is a God? some days I shake my head; some days I only nod. So am I a woman of prayer? The answer is yes, and yes, and yes, I care.

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