Help me, Hermes, to serve without fault,
Avoiding the dreaded double fault at any cost.
May I deliver winning returns with panache—
Backhand, forehand, volley and the killer smash.
Zeus, let me overcome the curse of deuces,
Play like a champion hitting aces.
Let me not slip, slide and fall in the eyes
Of my fans. Lead me not into unforced errors.
Let me not be dispatched into oblivion
By a fresh-faced opponent—unseeded, unknown.
If I must lose, give me the strength to accept
Failure, the hidden face of success, without regret.
~ Shanta Acharya
Shanta Acharya was born and educated in India. The author of nine books, her latest collection of poems is ‘Dreams That Spell the Light’ (2010). She is currently working on three of her forthcoming books. Her poems, articles and reviews have appeared in major publications in the UK, the US, and India and are available on her website.