Bio Note: It’s difficult for me to read this poem or think about gratitude, as my husband has been in Intensive Care since October 10, having suffered an aortic dissection and a stroke. His recovery has been very difficult, with many setbacks. Still, I’m grateful for our life together, and hope this poem conveys it.
This week, the news of the world is bleak, another war grinding on, and all these friends down with cancer, or worse, a little something long term that they won’t die of for twenty or thirty miserable years— And here I live in a house of weathered brick, where a man with silver hair still thinks I’m beautiful. How many times have I forgotten to give thanks? The late day sun shines through the pink wisteria with its green and white leaves as if it were stained glass, there's an old cherry tree that one lucky Sunday bloomed with a rainbow: cardinals, orioles, goldfinches, blue jays, indigo buntings, and my garden has tiny lettuces just coming up, so perfect they could make you cry: Green Towers, Red Sails, Oak Leaf. For this is May, and the whole world sings, gleams, as if it were basted in butter, and the air's sweet enough to send a diabetic into shock— And at least today, all the parts of my body are working, the sky’s clear as a china bowl, leaves murmur their leafy chatter, finches percolate along. I'm doodling around this page, know sorrow’s somewhere beyond the horizon, but still, I'm riffing on the warm air, the wingbeats of my lungs that can take this all in, flush the heart's red peony, then send it back without effort or thought. And the trees breathe in what we exhale, clap their green hands in gratitude, bend to the sky. from my book Line Dance (Word Press, 2008)
©2020 Barbara Crooker
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