My father coined a gratitude practice in reverse: to build upon
suffering, nothing’s worse than honing in on all that daily transmits
pain, how last year’s snow has turned to this year’s rain. He chooses now to say
instead, ‘No toothache today!’ and manages the struggle out of bed.
Never one to complain, keeps suffering to himself, offers a calm
face and listens to my woes, puts them (and me) into our proper place.
He knows. No word about his back, that source of decades’ ache. Without him
here, my heart will break. And I’ll go on each day to rise, to miss him, seek
sunlit leaves, imagine their green-brown-gold are stand-ins for his eyes.
by Carole Greenfield
Editor’s Note: The internal rhyme within this poem sews the emotional imagery into a thoughtful, coherent narrative.