Bless them all   Leave a comment

I heard this poem by Richard Newman on a podcast of The Writer’s Almanac (read by Garrison Keillor).  I was walking down the street and it brought me to a standstill.   I am guilty.

 

Bless Their Hearts

by Richard Newman

At Steak ‘n Shake I learned that if you add
“Bless their hearts” after their names, you can say
whatever you want about them and it’s OK.
My son, bless his heart, is an idiot,
she said. He rents storage space for his kids’
toys—they’re only one and three years old!
I said, my father, bless his heart, has turned
into a sentimental old fool. He gets
weepy when he hears my daughter’s greeting
on our voice mail. Before our Steakburgers came
someone else blessed her office mate’s heart,
then, as an afterthought, the jealous hearts
of the entire anthropology department.
We bestowed blessings on many a heart
that day. I even blessed my ex-wife’s heart.
Our waiter, bless his heart, would not be getting
much tip, for which, no doubt, he’d bless our hearts.
In a week it would be Thanksgiving,
and we would each sit with our respective
families, counting our blessings and blessing
the hearts of family members as only family
does best. Oh, bless us all, yes, bless us, please
bless us and bless our crummy little hearts.

(“Bless Their Hearts” by Richard Newman, from Domestic Fugues. © Steel Toe Books, 2009.)

What a beautiful humourous capturing of who we really are!

I had never heard of him before so checked him out and found  his website. I really like his style. Deceptively simple and humourous but deep and shocking in the way it captures the truth of existence.  I’m struggling through the Dalai Llama on ‘Becoming Enlightened’ at the moment (and really, struggling is the word).  Newman’s poem ‘Mowing’ made me feel better about ‘the four noble truths’.

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