Gratitude

Gratitude is not the desert flower
thankful for the sudden shower,
but the thanks given for strength to abide
the thirst of a dry countryside—
to endure the arid eons between
each drop meted, meager and mean,
so the hot hills dissolve around its roots
and blast-burn its shriveled shoots,
shrinking but never dying as it wilts
in its scorched bed, as its head tilts
as in humble prayer, offering thanks
to not know the flush river banks
where a flower is drowned in silt and mud
when showers swell rivers to flood
and die from glut and generosity
and an overbearing pity—
for a flower never drowned in dry lands
except if by well-meaning hands,
and so we learn gratitude from such plants:
it is a thing rooted in circumstance.

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