Sixth Day of the “Gratitude Challenge”

I am grateful for the love of my family: my parents and siblings (biological, as well as the “brothers and sisters,” travelers and “strays” my parents — especially my mother — were known to “take in”). Because of their constant example, I learned that people come first, things second. I am grateful for parents who let me make my own (often imprudent) decisions and live with the consequences of my actions. From this, I learned to make better choices for myself. I am also grateful for my husband (a good choice), my children and grandchildren, nieces and nephews, assorted cousins, uncles, and aunts. There are two things that run in this family: a keen sense of humor, and a love of food, both of which make life a joyous celebration.

Memories of childhood and adolescence come flooding back at the most peculiar times, it seems, bringing with them a jumble of emotional associations. I am grateful for memories of my parents and siblings (biological and “adopted”) because they allow me to re-experience the love they’ve always shown all over again. Today’s poem was evoked by one such memory:

Thirteen

Gripping the edges of the cafeteria tray
Dad had given us in lieu of a sled,
my brother, light as froth, blew
past the first curb
at the bottom of the hill,
flew low over the frozen road,
smacked the opposite curb and caught air

before sliding down the second,
while I, styling like an aerialist atop the pedestal
of my first pair of high-heeled boots,
the black suede-and-leather calf-highs I just had
to have, despite all Mom’s admonitions

they’re not practical,
you’ll want to play in the snow,
and getting them wet will just ruin them

just stood and glistened like the snow-clad trees,
motionless,
craving last year’s red galoshes.

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Louise A. Muise on September 10, 2014 at 5:28 pm

    Made me smile! These were among the happiest years of my life! Love, mom

    Reply

  2. Posted by Michele Muise on September 9, 2014 at 10:17 am

    Anne- this is beautiful and made me cry with the same memory!

    Reply

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