My Daughter Asleep, by David Whyte

A touching poem by David Whyte that a mere seven months ago would have been unremarkable to me yesterday left me speechless.


Carrying a child,
I carry a bundle of sleeping
future appearances.
I carry
my daughter adrift
on my shoulder,
dreaming her slender
dreams
and
I carry her
beneath
the window,
watching
her moon lit
palm
open
and close
like a tiny
folded
map,
each line
a path that leads
where I can’t go,
so that I read her palm
not knowing
what I read

and
walk with her
in moon light
on the landing,
not knowing
with whom I walk,
making
invisible prayers
to go on
with her
where I can’t
go,
conversing
with so many
unknowns
that must know her
more intimately
than I do.

And so to these
unspoken shadows
and this broad night
I make
a quiet
request
to the
great parental
darkness
to hold her
when I cannot,
to comfort her
when I am gone,
to help her learn
to love
the unknown
for itself,
to take it
gladly
like
a lantern
for the way
before her,
to help her see
where ordinary
light will not help her,
where happiness has fled,
where faith
cannot reach.

Read the rest on David’s Facebook page

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