poem or prayer?

what is the difference between a poem and a prayer?
the truth of a prayer isn’t in its words

i could believe god cares for humanity or
we would have been extinguished long ago
by nuclear accidents or intention
by pestilence asteroids
or each of us by the anger
of those who love us
i could believe
our survival is possible because
god is in everything
the coincidences of life are too strong
to be unintended
but too random to be forced with insistence
we’re all in the thrall of
some unknown
all powerful interested in love
is it in evoking ours for life
for each other
or for the eternal?

John Bart Gerald is a poet/journalist living in Montreal. He writes the website nightslantern.ca concerned with the prevention of genocide. Read other articles by J. B..