This is my monthly allotted steal from Writer’s Almanac.  This poem makes me feel very celebratory about the bullshit I’m getting done today.


by Michael Chitwood

       Physical therapists have opened a clinic in the office next to mine.

This morning one of them is treating a cystic fibrosis patient. The

patient lies face down on a table, and the therapist slaps up and down

the back with open hands. It loosens the mucus building up in the

lungs. Through the wall, it sounds like one person giving a long,

determined standing ovation.

       Finally, I’ve listened long enough and go out for a walk. The church

 across the street has just reseeded its lawn, and the caretaker is trying

 to shoo away pigeons that are feeding in the straw.

        “Get! Get!” he shouts, and claps his hands.

        The pigeons rise in unison and swirl away with a sound like gloved applause.


“Praise” by Michael Chitwood, from From Whence. © Louisiana State University Press, 2007.


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