Song of Gratitude–Margaret Chula


Love the Kamo River, its waters turned blue
from rinsing the indigo dyes of kimonos.

Love the hummingbirds.

Love the koi who swim like kings even
though, without their glitter, they’d be
only mouth and tail.

Love the katsura tree with multiple trunks
and heart-shaped leaves.

Love the anteater for its endurance,
carrying its armor for a lifetime.

Rejoice in the green of a kingfisher’s wing
or the deep purple skin of an eggplant.

Delight in the color of dusk when sun breaks
through the scum of clouds and a rabbit
peers out of his hutch.

Love your mother who is always wearing
her favorite dress when she comes

to you in dreams, and give thanks to
the lilac bush that blooms from her ashes.

Love also the sounds of trucks without mufflers,
the breath of drunkards returning home

and those spring peepers, reminding you
that you are not alone.

Delight in waking from a deep sleep to hear
the snoring of your husband beside you

alive, yes, still alive.

from Daffodils at Twilight, Kelsay Press, 2017

Margaret Chula has published over a dozen collections of poetry, most recently Firefly Lanterns: Twelve Years in Kyoto. Living in Oregon for thirty years, she enjoys the expansiveness of the Columbia River Gorge and the rugged beauty of the Oregon Coast where she hikes, writes, and visits friends.