Poetry · Writing

#amwriting #poetry Why gratitude must be enough to continue living, a poem by Tracy Diane Miller

My name is Tracy Miller. I founded Arlene Miller Creative Writing in memory of my mother Arlene Miller (August 24, 1924-May 10, 2005) to recognize & support all forms of creative expression.


Why gratitude must be enough to continue living, a poem
by Tracy Diane Miller

I hurt.

All the time, every day.

Since May 10, 2005, the day my mother passed away.

I hurt.

All the time, every day.

It makes most people uncomfortable to hear me say that, so they pretend that they didn’t hear me say that. They think that I don’t know it, but I do.

There are some people who genuinely care and they show me how much.

They show me they care, not out of a sense of obligation, but because they worry about me and they care.

I can always tell the difference. I know the names and I see the faces of those people who genuinely care. And I thank them.

I’ve thought about ending the hurt, the pain.

I’ve thought about it several times in recent years.

But I don’t do it.

I won’t do it.

You know why I won’t ever do it?

Because I refuse to intentionally leave my twin sister in this world alone.

I was happy once.

I can remember those times when I was happy, even though it was a long time ago.

Am I happy now? I could lie and say yes.

But happiness doesn’t exist for me anymore.

Happiness is but a memory, an illusion reserved for the me that I used to be.

Now I live exclusively on gratitude.

I’m a glutton for gratitude.

This is why gratitude must be enough to continue living.

For every poem that I write,

Each and every day,

I’m inspired by gratitude,

And in the moments when I write, my pain can briefly drift away.

For every book that I read,

When insomnia claims my nights,

My heart bargains for the words,

Then a book review I will write.

For every article that I write, or interview that I plan,

I have come to understand,

I’m inspired by gratitude.

I’m inspired by a song,

Because through the lyrics and the melody of a song, at least,

There are the moments of gratitude where I feast.

I’m inspired by actors,

Because through the characters they play,

The vulnerability shines through in the emotions they convey.

Because don’t you see?

I’ll cry for those who hurt, for those who are vulnerable,

Because I won’t cry for me.

The girl who writes poetry,

Even for the people who will never read her words,

She has finally made peace with that fact, because she heard.

The whispers of gratitude,

That’s truly what it is all about,

For that is why an endless stream of poetry,

Is always destined to come out.

Why I shed tears,

That no one will ever see,

Why I shed tears,

For the me that I used to be.

Because the me that I used to be,

That happy me, I mourn her.

The very least that I can do in her memory is to write,

And to continue living.

Why gratitude must be enough to continue living.

That is the essence of my poetic voice.

Because happiness for me no longer exists.

Gratitude is my life saving choice.


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