This Thursday we will celebrate Thanksgiving in the US. While the day’s origins are about giving thanks for a successful harvest, it’s also an opportunity to think more broadly about things we’re thankful for. This year I’m feeling more grateful than usual, because my oldest daughter is home from university. It was so exciting to meet her at the airport Friday night! Her room is all untidy and lived-in again. On Saturday night, we watched a movie together. I’ve missed her so much, and I didn’t fully realize it until she was back home. When a friend shared this poem with me today, it just seemed too good not to share with all of you.
by Sharon Olds
When she comes back, from college, I will see
the skin of her upper arms, cool,
matte, glossy. She will hug me, my old
soupy chest against her breasts,
I will smell her hair! She will sleep in this apartment,
her sleep like an untamed, good object,
like a soul in a body. She came into my life the
second great arrival, after him, fresh
from the other world—which lay, from within him,
within me, Those nights, I fed her to sleep,
week after week, the moon rising,
and setting, and waxing—whirling, over the months,
in a slow blur, around our planet.
Now she doesn’t need love like that, she has
had it. She will walk in glowing, we will talk,
and then, when she’s fast asleep, I’ll exult
to have her in that room again,
behind that door! As a child, I caught
bees, by the wings, and held them, some seconds,
looked into their wild faces,
listened to them sing, then tossed them back
into the air—I remember the moment the
arc of my toss swerved, and they entered
the corrected curve of their departure.
Welcome home, Kate.
Read more from The Sunday Salon here.