A Bouquet of Early Gratitude
I give thanks for the sweet bouquet of my childhood,
for bursting into the world in a windy city, for toddling
down the sidewalks of Stuttgart in a blue cotton dress
that billowed like a sail, and for baby brother Bill, born
with a cosmos of kissable freckles.
I give thanks for scratchy woolen mittens clipped to my
coat sleeves on snowy days in Detroit, for my turquoise
poodle skirt worn for a month until I tore off its chain leash
with constant fiddling, and for Rachel who died of “room-attic”
fever in her big house down the street.
I give thanks for the white coat with sleeves rolled up ten
times dragging behind me like a bridal gown and the Rosary
of a stethoscope Papa hung around my neck on mornings
when we rounded at the hospital and he called me Princess
and I believed him.
I give thanks for iceskating on thin ice and not dying,
for setting fires in refrigerator boxes and surviving,
for knowing without a doubt that all the stories ever told
or written were true, and for the 8-color paintbox with one
fat brush Mama gave me on my seventh birthday.
I give thanks for lacy white socks and the plastic pearl
missal I received on my first holy communion, and for
singing “Tantum ergo sacramentum, veneremur cernui”
like an angel at High Mass, though I had no idea what it meant
and still don’t.
I give thanks for hoiliday weekends on Chesapeake Bay,
the pungent aroma of fresh crustaceans bubbling in a campfire
crab-pot, for the clicking of cards being shuffled at my parents’
bridge parties and spying on them from the stairs for hours,
and for being encouraged to roller-skate in our third floor ballroom.
Hooray for Day 25 of NaPoWriMo! Our optional prompt today was to write a poem using “Anaphora, a literary term for the practice of repeating certain words or phrases at the beginning of multiple clauses or, in the case of a poem, multiple lines…Allen Ginsberg used it in ‘Howl,’ …[and it was a featured in] Martin Luther King Jr’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech [as well].
Poodle skirt photo from hiphop50sshop.