The Luddite’s Prayer




O Infinite Creative Generative Thou
hear my prayer, my Luddite plea.

Take and enfold these my quarks and bosons
Into Thy vast field and datastream, I pray Thee,
before I see every last book translated
only as light and impulse on battery-powered screens
(skipping both hardbound and paperback editions).

Let me not live to see printers that once lasered word to page
spew forth disposable clothing in 3D
while my laundry lines sway empty beneath
scaled dinosaur feet of songbirds whose names
the folks around me have never known.

O spare me, Thou, the silence of infant thumbs tapping touchscreens,
lo, the inexorable reduction of word to symbolled hieroglyph
while the mockingbird’s blur of whitelaced joy
goes unnoticed; yea, Thou, take me safely past CUL8R
and let me continue to see 121 and i2i.

If it be Thy pleasure, allow me my daughter’s voice (at least
on the machine) one more time before you take me back
to What Is. Help her forgive me for never mastering text messaging
and ease the resentment she carries, thinking I was avoiding her
when I was just incompetent and deeply unwilling.
Have mercy.

Absolve me of my old-fashioned pride in knowing how to sew
and cook and clean. Help me release my stubborn thoughts:
I confess I do not think a car should cost as much as a house,
and I believe even the sourest stolen berry from the hedgerow
is sweeter than Kroger’s eye-candied tasteless mass.
Have mercy.

For the blessing of each Neanderthal Thou has brought me near
along the way, I thank Thee. For those who write with pens
and boil bones, for each hand caked with garden dirt, scratched by thorns,
for those who hoarded film while it was made and the few
who puzzle Latin roots or know the names of trees…

Take, Thou, the evidence of my cluttered and unsanitary life—
shaped by scars, scrawled in doodles on the backs of posted letters—
and tuck it all beneath an attic stair tread, if Thou would be so kind,
or if it be Thy whimsical will, parade me in the hall of Archaic Wonder,
the last living soul to remember the June bugs’ metallic green splendor.
Amen and amen.


Jinn Fuller Renfro is a poet and visual artist, living on the banks of the mighty Ohio River in Historic Clarksville, Indiana. Her work has appeared in local, regional, and international online and print journals and publications. You can visit her on Facebook at

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