Header PostFeaturedImage 12

Prayer by Galway Kinnell

Galway Kinnell

Whatever happens. Whatever
what is is is what
I want. Only that. But that.


Belly full, and mind, and heart. An hour past midnight and well into a new morning. Thinking about all the days that led to this, and all the days after this one.

Sometimes I find it so simple—to be happy. And sometimes it is exhausting and terribly difficult, and you almost question why until you catch yourself, and gently remember that in this world there are more questions than there are answers, and that’s okay.

This moment: at the table, surrounded by people you love, a glass of wine in hand, and that quiet realisation that maybe this is all you need for tonight. That maybe this night will get you through other nights.

Enough. Enough now.

Merry Christmas.


This poem appeared in A New Selected Poems by Galway Kinnell, published by Ecco, 2001. Shared here with profound gratitude.


Read more works by Galway Kinnell • Find books by this poet • Or view my library 


Explore poems in pursuit of: grace • letting go • what is holy • Or browse the index

dear reader

This little corner of the world is my passion project since 2005My commitment is that it will always remain free to all. If this place holds meaning for you, would you consider supporting it? This can be in the form of a cup of coffee (+ other ways).


Note that Read A Little Poetry may receive a small commission if you make a purchase through any links on this site. It is at no additional cost to you and helps in the upkeep of this space.


Thank you for being here all these years—and into the future—as I hold poets to the light.

Comments (5)

  • Beautiful, and wise. What a lovely thing to read this Christmas Eve morning. Thank you.

  • billy

    I was standing in Liberty’s last week stroking a cashmere shawl, lost in my reverie, when a young sales assistant asked if she could help me. I smiled and answered, “No thanks, I’m just enjoying the experience of being here”. I’m none too clear where that “here” was/is, but……You have just taken me back there……
    A place In which time, disappears
    Where there is a sense of something, familiar, more, something we ought to know
    Before experience? perhaps!

    Thank you, and joy always……

  • Beautiful. Thank you. Merry Christmas

  • Ai~

    This is beautiful. A blessed Christmas!

  • Mariel

    (Belated) Merry Christmas! I’m so grateful for this blog of yours. It’s perfect – your writing and the poems. 🙂


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.