One Hundred Moving Parts of Love  •  poems by lenny dellarocca

Gratitude du Jour

I’m grateful for the blue rising smoke
from that old rusty
barrel of leaves,
autumn’s old perfume.
I stood in the yard
with my father,
who drew the breath
from my face
just by lighting
a hand-cupped match.
He was a standing stone
with blue questions
in his eyes.
The air around him
crackled under
the sky’s busted shelves
of slate. November up
in flames. Ash, sparks
like ragged
orange stars, fell to the ground, burned
out like dying
fireflies in the cold.
This brain-fossil will not
be unearthed
when I’m gone.
It’s beyond machines.
But I’m grateful
for the memory,
and how even with
sixty years between
then and now, I
still glow with
the burning
of my father’s face,
and my mother
at the window, looking out,
but not at us—no—
out to some distant
day when our names are not remembered.

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