How to Start a Day
Begin by letting go of the hem
of your dream. Let it slip
backwards into a black lake
as you greet the dawn. Be thankful
for small aches. You have survived
night’s heavy arms to wash yesterday
from your face. Begin to create
the opus of a new day. Look out
from a kitchen window as you savor
a first cup of coffee. House wrens
flap at the feeder. A squirrel
dances osiers so that the willow
shakes with laughter. Be thankful
for the small favors of sunlight
walking across the lawn, a cabbage
butterfly teasing the azaleas,
the pink rain of cherry blossoms.
Even the neighbor’s dog barking
ducks from his yard is sacred.
Open to morning’s hymns:
the big mouth of the garbage truck,
the mockingbird’s purloined songs,
chatter on the corner waiting
for the yellow school bus. The engine
of the day purrs in your throat
as you dress. Sweep your calendar
clean of doctor appointments,
chores. The vacuum and the duster
can wait. Let the day surprise you.
Be thankful to be who you are.
This is a poem I long ago tacked to a wall in my office where I would be sure to see it when I needed to — which has been often. It appears in Jane Ellen’s prize-winning chapbook, The Long Life, and in her latest, The Red Coat, which is now available from Amazon.com.
Since day one of this blog, I wanted to share this poem and its creator’s name. So, with her permission and photo, here it is for you to read, enjoy, perhaps reread and share while I try to pare the rambling post I’ve written about my elderly father-in-law and happiness.
Happy Tuesday, all!