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The More Constant Feature

It may have clothed itself
as a single glittering event,
as a single piece of poetry,
as Michelangelo’s Pieta,
as a beautiful act
of generosity.
However blazed the blessing,
it descended once.

The gratitude for the grace
may have lingered on,
may for some time
have stretched its scent,
may have shrunk over time,
growing pallid and small.
Sometimes no gratitude
extends at all…

What seems more reliable,
what gleams more constant
is: why there is not
a 2nd or 3rd or 4th or 5th
jewel today – as if jewels must be,
as if jewels are meant for us,
as if jewels are a matter of course.
Gratitude-shrinking forgetfulness
arm-in-arm with restlessness,
almost as if the jewel never was,
is the more constant feature.

One can see its distant,
paler and primitive cousin
in children galore.
A parent shows generosity,
bestows a special favour,
and children quickly forget:
annoyed, they wonder
why not today?

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