If I had, like a cat, nine lives – I believe
I’d let my mother’s china be with someone
who’d use it more. I’d eat off banana leaves,
drink more from clay cups in each one rather than
fine, foreign porcelain. I’d use the word foreign
itself a lot less because more things would be
mine to cherish without paying attention
to their provenance, craftsman’s nationality.
In those other lives, I’d smell more books and rain
buy fewer umbrellas and be less afraid,
just squeeze your hand tighter when the thunder came.
I’d look more closely at the dents raindrops make
on the sands. Also at your thumbprints on glass,
leave the smudges. Learn to photograph the grass.
Pleased to report that this whole series is now complete, all nine of them. And I got some others written in the idle-time between them too. A good crop, all in all.
The birthday always falls around the time my American friends and family celebrate Thanksgiving - and it's always seemed to me a good one to borrow into my own life. This year it feels extra special due to various reasons, not least among them the personal harvest situation going on - written and unwritten, countable and uncountable. Giving thanks for each one of them, every single day.
Happy Thanksgiving to you in advance if you're observing. And the happiest of weeks to you if you're not.