A FATHER'S PRAYER
© 2012 – David Campbell

Winner, 2012 'The Blackened Billy', Tamworth, NSW.

I would wish the blue of morning,
dawning,
for the colour of your eyes,
and bright sunlight on the water,
daughter,
for a smile to mesmerise
the darkest soul that you might find
through all those childhood days
that time can grant a youthful mind
in happy, carefree ways.

I would wish the fire of learning,
burning
in a passion to succeed,
and the joy that comes with living,
giving
of yourself in word and deed,
no matter what the future seems,
so you can still achieve
the best of all your hopes and dreams,
the courage to believe.

I would wish the thrill of riding,
guiding,
a new pony through the glade,
and the toil of ringers shearing,
clearing
out the fleece that leaves the blade
like snow upon the highest peak
above the valley where
we’ll go out camping by the creek,
and do some fishing there.

I would wish the art of feeling,
healing,
that your mother knows so well,
and a love that lasts forever,
never
hesitating once to dwell
on anything that might have been
if she had not met me…
a nature that’s so calm, serene,
and yet so wild and free.

I would wish the turn of seasons,
reasons
for accommodating change,
and adapting to new thinking,
linking
fresh ideas across a range
of challenges that you will face
as progress marches on
at mankind’s unrelenting pace,
for my ways will have gone.

I would wish a kindness forming,
warming
anyone who might come near,
so that they can gain some pleasure,
treasure
all the things that you hold dear
in laying out a path through life,
exemplars that proclaim,
as daughter, lover, mother, wife,
you’ve honoured our good name.

I would wish you understanding,
handing
down the wisdom I have learned,
that the truth can’t be forsaken,
taken
very lightly…trust is earned,
and honesty will bring respect
in all you do and say,
while pride, if left to roam unchecked,
will just lead you astray.

And I wish these things while holding,
folding
your sweet mother’s hand in mine,
with the midwife standing ready,
steady,
as she watches for the sign
that you will soon be with us here
to see this wondrous dawn…
a daughter cherished and held dear,
this day that you are born.

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