! Gratitude Dawning
Alarm clock. The sun rises.
by Michael Shepherd
The buses, railways, flights are running.
There’s a bottle of milk on the doorstep.
Facts of life. Except when they’re not there.
Who lives a life of continual gratitude for life?
Hey guys, the sun which disappeared last night
has turned up again today! Wow! Relief! Let’s get down
on our knees, raise hands, voices… and
while we’re about it, put your hands together for
all morning milkmen, where they still deliver milk…
Except – no milk this morning.
Shall you telephone – politely,
with a subtext of unpractised gratitude?
I only saw the current milkman once;
said to him, this is the first time I met you…
he said, well, you’re not around at 4 ay em are you?
So you telephone. A foreignish voice from
the land of holy cows replies from
a script I guess, …your previous milkman…
left the company… late…on his way…
Morning gratitude. The cow who gives you
the love for her calves, in liquid form;
yielding too, the butter for your toast;
the pig who gave her life for your bacon rasher;
the hen who parted with her offspring for you
to kill its life in sizzling frying pan…
they’re all female, you’ve just noticed; how about
the oranges whose liquid praise of the morning sun you drink?
tomatoes, mushrooms, anybody?
maybe you should write a note to the dairy,
say, please convey to the milkman
who has now left the company for
pastures new, hur hur, and we hope
a creamy, frothing future,
our gratitude for services rendered
which we would not ourselves
be easily persuaded to take on…
yes, maybe you should.