Litany of Thanks
Always, she ended her notes,
always: old-fashioned, generous,
and I thought too fond:
Always, making my perpetual Best
seem stingy, pressing the page,
her claim with her firm blue scroll.
Her last card fell from a book
that fell at my feet-the cat,
the wind, her will calling it
to my attention-the morning
I learned she’d died, had been
dying a year, and not wanted me
to know: so close to begging,
too proud to beg.
On the card, two old-fashioned girls
read and dream over an open book,
blonde head close to brown one,
showing more than careful words
all she hoped for, all she’d have me
understand, making the pledge
that proves its truth daily:
Always, and under it, her name.