Thanksgiving dinner is over, and I’m curled up on the couch with two very tired dogs. We went and had dinner with some friends, and got to take Maxwell and Simon with us. They spent several hours tearing around the huge backyard with their doggie friends.
Since one of our hosts is of Filipino ancestry, we had a few delicious dishes that weren’t traditional American, but were a wonderful part of the spread. I contributed homemade dinner rolls and mulled wine (apparently I mull wine like a boss), and had a lovely afternoon with my Texas family.
(If you’re wondering why my couch looks torn up in the photo…..we’re still working on Simon. He looks like an angel in that photo, but beneath that sleepy exterior, he enjoys deconstructionism. Just not in the literary sense of the word.)
In the spirit of thinking about what I’m thankful for, I’ve been going through my poetry files to contribute something to Drew Myron’s Feast of Words. What I’ve found is that while I wrote many poems with a gracious, grateful spirit, I don’t write much explicitly about gratitude.
The poem I’ve selected to share today is a short one I wrote after a friend brought me some mangoes and taught me how to remove the pits in a way that would not damage them, so that they could be planted. Little acts of kindness like that often carry more weight than they appear to on the surface. I spent much of 2012 dealing with the loss of a good friend, and the simple act of paring a mango and then preparing the seed for planting was a sort of light-bulb moment, realizing the way good things endured. From the destruction of a piece of fruit came nourishment for myself, as well as the potential for a new mango tree.
This poem is, admittedly, still in draft form. I’ve given it a few passes, but it’s not a piece that has occupied a lot of my creative attention, so it’s still a little rough. But it comes from a grateful spirit — grateful for a friend, for fruit, for the reminder of what endures.
You bring me mangoes
and you bring me mango pits
you never make promises,
but in your smooth hands,
there is potential for sustenance,
for roots –
there is a reminder
that life goes on after
skin is cut
flesh is eaten,
that a future exists;
that something beautiful
endures after loss