#18 decembrance 2019

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Before sunset Warren and I went out on the pond in the rowboat. We were both bundled up with gloves and hats. The pond has been very high and the overflow clogged with pond weed and other debris.  It was so starkly beautiful. The sun was low, the winter landscape bare, and it felt brutally cold in the wet wind. All seemed unstable as the boat was blown by the breeze, my oars got clogged in pond weed and ice all while Warren pushed, pulled, and scraped the muck with a copper pole. These are the times when I need to have a panoramic view that acknowledges both the beauty and the struggle. How grateful I am for this pond and the hard stuff of maintenance. This is when I turn to poetry for the vocabulary of thanks that can include the  obvious light and a memory of the futility of waving in the dark.

18 winter 2019.jpg

with the night falling we are saying thank you
we are stopping on the bridges to bow from the railings
we are running out of the glass rooms
with our mouths full of food to look at the sky
and say thank you
we are standing by the water thanking it
standing by the windows looking out
in our directions

back from a series of hospitals back from a mugging
after funerals we are saying thank you
after the news of the dead
whether or not we knew them we are saying thank you

over telephones we are saying thank you
in doorways and in the backs of cars and in elevators
remembering wars and the police at the door
and the beatings on stairs we are saying thank you
in the banks we are saying thank you
in the faces of the officials and the rich
and of all who will never change
we go on saying thank you thank you

with the animals dying around us
taking our feelings we are saying thank you
with the forests falling faster than the minutes
of our lives we are saying thank you
with the words going out like cells of a brain
with the cities growing over us
we are saying thank you faster and faster
with nobody listening we are saying thank you
thank you we are saying and waving
dark though it is

"Thanks" by W.S. Merwin, from MIGRATION by W.S. Merwin, copyright © 2005 Copper Canyon Press. 

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This page contains a single entry by Catherine White published on December 18, 2019 8:28 PM.

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