My inability to count blessings

The shallow breaths betray my guarded uneasiness

The heaviness in my chest

The lightness in my head

 

I fight this meaninglessness with

hand to temple, eyes firmly closed

A pool of bile churning in my stomach

 

Until every mountain has been ground down

Until every river has run dry

I need to count my blessings.

 

Instead, I count black crows

I smell damp dirt

and I wonder why I don’t get it

 

What part of life must I come to understand

beyond a child’s laugh or my boys squealing ‘Dada’

 

‘Dada’ — nada

 

really, nothing

 

and, yet,

 

Chris George 

From the collection entitled “At 42” 

June 2004

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