Prayer For The New Year

By Marian Kaplun Shapiro

Be sweet, my soul,
be soft, my soul
go round the bend gently, gently
remember, you are tired
navigating all the hills and exits
all the detours, all the unpaved roads, 
all the highways where resurfacing
and filling last year's potholes and 
re-lining the lanes and salting the ice-
slicked patches holding up traffic making
everyone late and cranky; and sanding 
the driveway and the path to the house
and fixing the broken toaster and re-
writing the line that doesn't work, 
which puts the next line out of sorts
and maybe the next as well; and
replacing the batteries on the travel
razor and the smoke detectors; and all
the endless gizmos that make our lives
so much easier and more fun , for ex.: 
the i-pods, and cordless mice, the tivos, 
cameras, clocks and remotes;  and 
the cars that die on what seems to always
be the very coldest day of the year, 
and cellphones that give out just as
you need them and hearing aids that sing
their goodbye song during the question 
period after your presentation; and toys 
that bark and whistle and hum and shriek
and dingdong you into madness. Yes,
remember, you are tired. Go round
the bend softly, sweetly, kindly,
gently. Living is a hard act to follow.
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About Marian Kaplun Shapiro

Marian Kaplun Shapiro is the author of a professional book, Second Childhood (Norton, 1988), a poetry book, Players In The Dream, Dreamers In The Play (Plain View Press, 2007) and two chapbooks: Your Third Wish (Finishing Line, 2007); and The End Of The World, Announced On Wednesday (Pudding House, 2007).

As a Quaker and a psychologist, her poetry often addresses the embedded topics of peace and violence, often by addressing one within the context of the other.

A resident of Lexington, she was named Senior Poet Laureate of Massachusetts in 2006 and again in 2008. Her work received the Elizabeth Bolton award.

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