Blessed are the crooked elms and the bony oaks,
the ragged crowns of cottonwoods;
the runt of the litter and the clumsy beast.
Blessed are the million backyards I have known,
kittens born under muddy porches;
marbles lost in a sandbox, forgotten dolls at the neighbor’s house.
Blessed are the bills unopened on a makeshift table,
dishes left soaking in a borrowed sink;
shoes that were always too small for my feet, laces I never learned to tie.
Blessed are the broken, the beaten, the hard of heart;
the faces in the window to my dreams—that other world,
where a mother knows how to braid my hair
and a father carries me on his shoulders,
carries the letters I wrote in his pocket.
Raises me up, lifts me off.
Lets me down.