Thankful Thursday

Welcome Morning

There is joy 

in all: 

in the hair I brush each morning, 

in the Cannon towel, newly washed, 

that I rub my body with each morning, 

in the chapel of eggs I cook 

each morning, 

in the outcry from the kettle 

that heats my coffee 

each morning, 

in the spoon and the chair 

that cry "hello there, Anne" 

each morning, 

in the godhead of the table 

that I set my silver, plate, cup upon 

each morning.


All this is God, 

right here in my pea-green house 

each morning 

and I mean, 

though often forget, 

to give thanks, 

to faint down by the kitchen table 

in a prayer of rejoicing 

as the holy birds at the kitchen window 

peck into their marriage of seeds.


So while I think of it, 

let me paint a thank-you on my palm 

for this God, this laughter of the morning, 

lest it go unspoken.


The Joy that isn't shared, I've heard, 

dies young.


Anne Sexton
from The Awful Rowing Toward God

Half my life ago, I clung to the confessionals: Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton, poets who wrote openly about their struggles with life and the strong pull of death. Like many sad young women, I took Sexton's poem, Wanting to Die, as my own sort of prayer. I traced the lines, knew its terrain as my own:

But suicides have a special language.

Like carpenters they want to know which tools.

They never ask why build

I eventually grew up, and sometimes out, of suicidal contemplations. I grew away, too, from the raw, tell-all quality of confessional poets. I began, instead, to hedge and allude. Where once I was direct, I became vague, my emotional edges blunted. It's an evolution I question daily. 

Is it the nature of age to soften with time? Today when I read Welcome Morning, I find a new Anne Sexton. One, like me, who sees variation in the gray. For this discovery, I am very thankful.