Edited and introduced by Wesley McNair, Maine poet laureate.


Today’s short lyric by the late Maine poet David Walker greets the arrival of a newborn with both praise and wisdom.


A Prayer, A Welcome 

By David Walker

Little wrinkle

from my flesh, eyelid


curling down at my fool’s

prattle; child


before whom I’m the more

child—your future


older than my past…

Forgive the father


I’ll be, become all

I can never know;


teach me to hold

you for a while, and then


to let go.

Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry is produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. Poem copyright © 2003 Wesley McNair. Reprinted from the Maine Poets, Down East Books, 2003, by permission of Wesley McNair. Questions about submitting to Take Heart may be directed to Gibson Fay-LeBlanc, Special Consultant to the Maine Poet Laureate, at [email protected] or 228-8263. Take Heart: Poems from Maine, an anthology collecting the first two years of this column, is now available from Down East Books.