Category Archives: Baptism

A Prayer for My Son

Slowly rocking my child to sleep
we look out our window and
think a hymn of praise to the One,
thankful for the growth
of the ivy that covers the dead
ten-foot eucalyptus stumps and the
yellowing lemon tree leaves that
need me to stop watering them

and spray iron concentrate
onto their roots and thin veins.

The sky’s metallic fog stills
the sky, pine trees and tall hills
today. The coastal valley
where I live, this green watershed
with occasional creek, is called
Vallemar, my street, Nataqua. Whether
water is born here, or, as I
have seen with my son,
births are of the water, with
Michael emerging fishtail fast,
I’m not sure. The name “nataqua”
my wife believes, is Indian. I’m sure
it’s portmanteau Latin
trying to name what can’t be named,
like my son, whom I still think isn’t
quite a Michael.

Here, rocking him, I watch the growing green,
the dance of gnats,
and give glory,
thanking the One
for this ordinary day.

My prayer: May I never grow too used to you,
my son, this day, these leaves, and the
stilling sky.