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  • John Bartell


by John Bartell

Today a boy and a girl

stand in a field with hands held


as they watch the sky,

hopeful for a flock of cranes

or even a small plane.

Today a young couple

sit in separate rooms

and yell through the walls

with vipers for tongues.

Today a small child

lies in her bed

and wonders where the frogs in her pond go

when the sun lays low

and stars scatter across the horizon.

Today we sit together,

and we feast on foods

our grandparents

handed down to us

and we laugh

and we shout above each other

and we wish we could remember the other


as if they were simply heartbeats in the past.

Today we give our thanks.

We thank You for this time together.

For our feast,

for each other.

And for the thought

that life is precious

and we should be good to everyone,

even those we do not know;

those who stand with hands held high in wonder

or listen to insults shouted at them though

paper thin walls

or fear for the safety of the frogs

in their pond

as night falls

over their home.

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