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Giving Thanks in Time of Fire
Giving Thanks in Time of Fire

This poem, Thanks, from W. S. Merwin, reminds me of the 

last lines of Leonard Cohen’s song, Hallelujah: 

 

“And even though it all goes wrong

I stand before the Lord of Song

With nothing on my tongue but hallelujah”

 

Listen with the night falling we are saying thank you

we are stopping on the bridges to bow from the railings

we are running out of the glass rooms

with our mouths full of food to look at the sky

and say thank you

we are standing by the water thanking it

standing by the windows looking out in our directions

 

back from a series of hospitals back from a mugging

after funerals we are saying thank you

after the news of the dead

whether or not we knew them we are saying thank you

 

over telephones we are saying thank you

in doorways and in the backs of cars and in elevators

remembering wars and the police at the door

in the faces of all who will never change

we go on saying thank you thank you

 

with the animals dying around us

taking our feelings we are saying thank you

with the forests falling faster than the minutes

of our lives we are saying thank you

with the cities growing over us

we are saying thank you faster and faster

thank you we are saying and waving

dark though it is

 

Love, Trudy




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