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  • michellelisenbee

I Am Saying Thank You

Updated: Jan 27, 2021

As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve been participating in a practice called Wild Writing with Laurie Wagner. (You can find her here) In this practice, a poem is read out loud and we use a line from the poem (or some other jumping off point) as a prompt to write wildly for at least 15 minutes. I have continued this practice once or twice a week for months and it has been invaluable to me during the pandemic. This piece was inspired by a poem called “Thanks” by W.S. Merwin, and I used the line “I am saying thank you” as my refrain/jumping off point. And I am saying thank you to you….for being here to read this.

I am saying thank you to hard things these days. I am saying thank you to the dust bunnies and fluffs of dog hair drifting in corners and under the refrigerator. I am saying thank you to the plants I forget to water and who are still bravely growing. I am saying thank you to the new mattress we bought last year that cradles and supports me in our antique bed and I am saying thank you to the hands that built it so many years ago, and I am wondering about all the love and loneliness its boards have absorbed. I am saying thank you for soft fur and four legs. For the earthy scent of coffee and a beat up 25 year old lunchbox I pack for him each morning. I am saying thank you for bright pens and filling journals and handmade bookmarks. For running chickens that make me laugh out loud they look so ridiculous having no arms. I am saying thank you for lanky sons who have outgrown their beds and for their loud and ever-present music which introduces me to worlds of rhythm and melody I never would have discovered on my own. I am saying thank you for words spoken by eyes above our hidden mouths. I am saying thank you for chairs spaced six feet apart and a surreal distanced crowd at the car dealership. For a bright new car with a bright yellow bow and my son with his bright blue mask hiding his brilliant smile. I am saying thank you for lush greenness and winding water and standing on the bridge watching it flow away beneath my feet. For the Heron I haven’t seen in weeks and the Osprey who finally made an appearance. I am saying thank you for produce – melons and cucumbers and mounds of zucchini, lettuce and carrots and beets and all the things I will make with them when I get around to it – hoping they don’t rot before I do. I am saying thank you for lavender flowers and bumblebees and for the wilted, scorched pansies who can no longer tolerate the summer heat. I am saying thank you for the evening thunderstorms and the brilliant light show, for all four of us standing phones in hand on the porch recording the beauty together. I am saying thank you for finding ways to do our own things, together….and for the ability to be grateful for all of it, even the things that seem impossibly hard. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. (Originally published July 28, 2020)

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