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June 11,1996: A Poem Of Thanks

a poem of thanks for my former wife

'Did you see the rainbow
in the western sky this morning? '
I will ask my wife tonight.
And, because her daily commute
takes her east and south
along a rumbling river
of cratered highway,
she probably will have missed it.

I appreciate the irony in this.
She, after all,
is the very reason
I momentarily glimpsed
those ribbons of promise
arching hopefully over a sky still gray
from the morning's rain.

she was the one who suggested
bagels and strawberries for breakfast.
She lit the candles,
carried in the flowers,
wrote me the note
(tucked delicately beneath a vase) .

If not for her,
I would have journeyed westward this morning
at least an hour earlier -
through the dark,
the rain.

If not for her,
I would have missed that brief
celestial celebration-
burrowed in my office,
hunkered at my desk,
hunched over a grade book,
calculating final scores
in the half-light
of a green-globed banker's lamp.

(her note, by the way,
was about today-
as were the bagels and strawberries,
winking flowers, and fragile candlelight-
today, June 11,
what would have been
the twenty-seventh birthday
of a daughter who died
when she was barely nine.)

'How are you today? '
my wife asked.
I had no answer.
Eighteen years creates distance,
not comfort.
Still, there are hollows in my heart.
Still, my soul is often without the words
to speak my sorrow.

'How are you today? '
my wife asked me this morning.
'Did you see the rainbow? '
I will ask her tonight.

June 11,1996.
Life wounds.
And wounds again.

Love soothes.
Celestial benediction.
Tender Mercy.
Quiet consolation.

by Will Thomas

Comments (1)

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