Friday, January 31, 2014

Still My Girl

Prayer for Our Daughters

May they never be lonely at parties
Or wait for mail from people they haven't written
Or still in middle age ask God for favors
Or forbid their children things they were never forbidden.

May hatred be like a habit they never developed
And can't see the point of, like gambling or heavy drinking.
If they forget themselves, may it be in music
Or the kind of prayer that makes a garden of thinking.

May they enter the coming century
Like swans under a bridge into enchantment
And take with them enough of this century
To assure their grandchildren it really happened.

May they find a place to love, without nostalgia
For some place else that they can never go back to.
And may they find themselves, as we have found them,
Complete at each stage of their lives, each part they add to.

May they be themselves, long after we've stopped watching.
May they return from every kind of suffering
(Except the last, which doesn't bear repeating)
And be themselves again, both blessed and blessing.
Before she was ever conceived, I was saying prayers for her.  I prayed for her the entire ten months she cocooned in my body.  I've been saying prayers for her the past ten years.  The prayers run through my head like a calming mantra.  Sometimes the prayers are for the present, but oftentimes, they include her future.  I see glimpses of the sassy teenager she is going to become soon, but for now, she is still my girl. 
My sweet birthday girl, nine years ago. 



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