Thursday, November 22, 2012

Gratitude



The heat of her hand
between bare shoulder blades-
Winter sunlight.

This summer I passed a half a hundred trips around the sun and have spent some of the ensuing time in reflection. In celebration, here are at least fifty things I've found to be thankful for;

The sliver of sunlight that fell across my face this morning and lifted my eyelashes from sleep.

My mother's encouragement in all my endeavors, even the ones she disagreed with.

My father's insistence on excellence, his attention to detail, his attempts (however unsuccessful) to embrace the awkwardness that was his oldest son.

The thirteen year old boy who kisses me on the forehead and says "Thanks Dad. " for no particular reason.

The twenty-eight of my thirty-two teeth that have stuck it out this long.

The biscuits in the Borgata Buffet at breakfast, the butter that colors their crannies, the syrup that sticks them to my tongue.

All Fifty Shades of Grey (Earl, that is)

For "Kind of Blue" and "A Love Supreme" and notes that always get taken and pondered.

The length of my arms, the strength of my fingers, the seams in my then two year old son's T-Shirt, that day he darted between two parked cars and I caught his collar inches before he reached the street and an oncoming Escalade.

For nipples that know the difference between the soft nap of a sweater and the tenderness of a tongue.

Hershey's Kisses.

Seeing Roberto Clemente round second base and dive headlong into whatever.

Every woman who's ever put up with me for longer than fifty minutes.

Soft hands and softer fingertips.

All the things I've learned (and will learn) from the woman whose eyes dot the punctuation of my poems, and who cares as much about me as I do her (even if she might not admit it)

The rolling hills and rusty bridges of a city that no matter where I currently reside, will always be home.

My cousins Robin and Lason, who are no longer here, but will always be with me.

A once fractured left wrist that aches when the pressure drops and reminds me I'm alive.

For Bruce Grover, Tor De Barros, Daniel Barnes, Kenny Carroll, Brian Gilmore, David Sherman, and Leonard Poulson who helped me learn the value of real and lifelong friendship.

Tongue kisses that curl toes.

The pallet of bricks that collapsed the ceiling above my bed and just missed me sleeping below.

The pancakes at Gilchrist's and the little bottles of syrup from Bread and Butter.

For the chance as a small child to look over my mother's shoulder as she read the Bible and figure out the squiggles.

All the blocks that made me stumble and forced me to learn to climb.

For Licorice, soft and black.

The rumble in the bottom of my baritone.

For my eyes (all four of them).

For the lint trap above my shoulders that doubles as a brain.

For the quirks, twitches and "No napkins Please" that make me sui generis.

For the tiny muscle that tightens and clenches just before I sigh and succumb.

For AC and DC and all the electricity in between.

The perpetual breeze off the ocean that keeps Atlantic City cool.

For the day I'll kiss her, and marrow deep, she'll know.

And until next we meet, may all your potatoes be sweet (and dusted with cinnamon.)
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