( for everything, give thanks )

Thank you for the words my father spoke before he died.
Thank you for his comfort in the final hours,
for his steady and clear gaze, for his hands more familiar than my own.
Thank you for the gentle pooling of blood just beneath his skin
and for the slivers of ice I placed between his lips when we thought he felt thirst.

Thank you for my mother’s fear and confusion
for her calling me “Mildred” at the end.
For having the Phillies host the Marlins the evening of June 7th
The two of us sitting together on the hospital bed
Harry Kalas crooning the play by play.

Thank you for my sister Gail’s early death at 47
for her husband, John, keeping his promise,
demanding they not revive her
stretching his body over hers on the emergency room table.
the sudden quiet. The single drop of blood on her lip.

Thank you for last week’s shooting star that arched across the beach sky.
Thank you for the single scarlet zinnia that opened while I was away,
and for my neighbor, Adele, missing her train this morning
appearing at my door, needing a ride to work.

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