- Prayer for My Children
I regret nothing.My cruelties, my betrayalsof others I once thoughtI loved. All the unlivedyears, the unwrittenpoems, the wasted nightsspent weeping and drinking.
No, I regret nothingbecause what I’ve livedhas led me here, to this roomwith its marvelous riches,its simple wealth—these three heads shiningbeneath the Japanese lamp, laboringover crayons and paper.These three who love meexactly as I am, preciselyat the center of my ill-built being.Who rear up eagerly when I enter,and fall down weeping when I leave.Whose eyes are my eyes.Hair, my hair.Whose bodies I coverwith kisses and blankets.Whose first meal was my own body.Whose last, please God, I will not liveto serve, or share.
Kate Daniels’s poem, “Prayer for My Children,” is reprinted from a sequence called “Portrait of the Artist as Mother,” from Four Testimonies (LSU, 1998). Her most recent book is A Walk In Victoria’s Secret. She is Director of Creative Writing at Vanderbilt University, currently on leave as a Guggenheim Fellow.
This poem was originally published in Four Testimonies (LSU Press, 1998) and is reprinted here by permission of the author.