This, then, is when the thanks arrive,
a flood of peace and joy, overflowing its bounds,
seeping through steepled fingers
to bring life again to a once-parched heart.
No intonation need be sung or said,
but a silent praise wells up from within.
Eyes open, I observe the curve of a bluebird’s head
as it poses to prepare for territorial battle
from within a tangle of autumn-bare
branches in a tree in my backyard;
no kneeling, closed-lidded prayer stance here,
instead I worship the artistry in all I survey.
I feel as territorial as the bluebird looks:
this is my faith that I’ve fought
so hard to maintain through refining fires that threatened
to sear my soul to ash;
I want to claim the victory now,
as if it were mine and mine alone to claim (though I know it’s not),
and to revel in the torrents of gratitude that are pouring over me
because I have survived.