First, I want to say thank you.
For letting me stay up so late,
and awaken after ten. It’s a luxury
to find and hold my natural
sleep pattern. I needed rest
for computer-crouched back,
for my knees, for my spirit –
still troubled by testing and rabid
accountability, adults rewriting
childhood. Thank you for rest, for time.
The world shifted on its axis
this summer: marriage equality,
healthcare secured in a supreme way,
and that eulogy in Charleston,
a speech we’ve been waiting for for years.
Thank you for this amazing grace
in a world still hungering for justice.
Thanks too for simplicity:
the sound of rain on the yurt,
that song sung in Princeton’s chapel,
the sanding and scraping of the men
who worked so hard to revive my little house.
Young strong women playing softball,
boys sifting dirt through their fingers
even as the pitch was heading home.
Thank you for that day we shot Nerfguns
at targets pretending that we could be heroes.
The canal boat ride, the sunset cruise
on the shoreline, the plane ride to
San Diego, where I tried my best,
among the best. Thank you for
mid-day movies, and mid-day naps.
A game called Munchkins, and
rows and rows of gin rummy, even if
I most often fell on the losing side.
Thank you for that huge orange moon
splayed out on Rt. 2 driving home from
Toledo at the end of July. Oh my god.
And the two tiny kittens we tried to rescue,
their tiny urgent peeps, much like my neighbors’
who hear all day: Mom, Mom, Mom.
Thank you for popsicles, even at breakfast
and every day with the crew before dinner.
And sweet corn from a road stand,
that Amish country pizza. You know
I met Jersey Mike this summer, and, yes,
he and I have fallen a little too much in love.
Speaking of which, thank you for
that conversation in Columbus, and the ones
at Retrodog and driving back from Buffalo.
I feel, though lonely, still loved.
I know I let you down: my laziness,
my talk of travel that never manifested.
Some day, we will make it to Selma,
I promise. I know that projects remain undone,
corners still filled with dust and detritus.
(And, when I say corners, I am speaking
of my heart as much as my house.)
Please, stay with me. Your calm,
your playfulness. Your broad sweeping
colors. Even your hot unrest,
as we work to show that black lives matter.
We are entering the season of harvest,
let us bring your gifts with us for the work.
Thank you for early morning sunrises,
long lasting light, the purposeful way
that you extend the notion of day.
There is so much we can do in the time
spread between darkness and darkness.
Help us carry that hope into the coming days.