It’s just-spring here in Michigan and each little green shoot is a jigger of encouragement. So is this poem, “Thank You” by Ross Gay, which I left in a pile of dead leaves at the end of a church parking lot.
by Ross Gay
If you find yourself half naked
and barefoot in the frosty grass, hearing,
again, the earth’s great, sonorous moan that says
you are the air of the now and gone, that says
all you love will turn to dust,
and will meet you there, do not
raise your fist. Do not raise
your small voice against it. And do not
take cover. Instead, curl your toes
into the grass, watch the cloud
ascending from your lips. Walk
through the garden’s dormant splendor.
Say only, thank you.
Seasonally this poem is off—it’s set in late fall—but existential crises come year-round.
Ross Gay was born in 1974 in Youngstown, Ohio but grew up in Pennsylvania. He teaches at Indiana University and Drew University’s low-residency MFA program. He’s won many awards, among them a Cave Canem Workshop fellowship.
I love this
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Ross Gay is our neighbor…he is a very talented writer, educator…and a local treasure! Thank you for shining light on his amazing poetry!
Ross Gay is a local treasure! He lives a few blocks from us…and he is a wonderful neighbor, gardener, educator and poet! Thanks for shining light on his amazing poetry!
Good Fairy…..how lucky you are!
Thanks for doing what you do. The world needs more random acts of poetry!
Yes indeed. Thanks for reading!
Hi Poem Elf. I just love this simple poem! And I love you for having the eye and the ear and the instinct to send it. Don’t ever stop!
Thanks, Frances! I appreciate it.
Phew I like this one
Phew I like you