Slowly in Prayer
By Matthew Lippman
To be thankful for the Starbucks lady, Lucy,
who is pissed at me for asking too many questions
about my damn phone app
is one thing.
To be thankful for my wife plastering my face to the bathroom floor
with pancake batter
for missing the bus
is another thing.
I tried to be thankful for my eyes this morning
even though one of them is filled with pus
and the other with marigold juice.
Marigold juice is the stuff that comes from the flower
when you put it between your palms and rub, slowly in prayer,
even though nothing comes out.
It’s the imagined juice of God,
the thing you can’t see when you are not being thankful.
I try to be thankful for the lack of energy that is my laziness
and my lonely best friend with no wife and children
knowing I am as lonely as he
with one wife and two daughters.
Sometimes we travel five minutes to the pier in Red Hook
and it takes hours in our loneliness to know, in our thankfulness,
that if we held hands it’d be a quiet romance for the ages.
I’ll admit, I’m thankful for Justin Timberlake
because he’s better than Beethoven
and my friend Aaron
who lived in the woods with an axe and never used it once.
I try hard to forget love,
to abandon love,
so that one day I will actually be able to love.
Until then, I am thankful that Lucy wanted to spit in my coffee,
or imagined that she did,
and thanked her profusely
for showing me which buttons to push
and how to do it, with just the right amount of pressure,
the whole tips of all my fingers dancing like stars
through the blackness
of a mocha latte, black.
My Monday started with beautifully iced tree limbs and ended with less beautifully iced sidewalks, which are supposed to be considerably worse on Tuesday morning, according to yet another winter weather advisory currently on my phone. I am not an anti-winter person, I like the seasonal changes, but for the second year in a row, I must say that I have had enough now. It doesn't help me to have the light coming back in the evening if I can't take a walk for fear of slipping on black ice!
As a result, although I did get to see lots of squirrels on my deck begging for food and two deer foraging -- plus Venus and Jupiter -- during a quick swing through the neighborhood, I did not have a great day. I learned that my long-time senator, Barbara Mikulski, is retiring, and I accidentally washed the colored laundry on warm. We caught up on Madam Secretary, which remains delightful. Here are photos of some of the chandeliers at Hillwood, taken a couple of months back: