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Thank-You Notes
Wilda Morris


...let me paint a thank-you on my palm...
                                        ~ Ann Sexton

This May morning as sunrise
turns my kitchen window to stained glass,
I paint thank-yous
on the palm of my hand,
thanks for the tulip that opened
red cups to receive sun and rain,
and for violets I transplanted from Grandmother’s,
now blooming in my yard,
gratitude that I don’t have to rise
like Grandfather did on cool mornings
to stoke dying ashes in a coal furnace
to resurrect the fire that heated the house,
and for the spin cycle on the washer
that saves me from the task
of wringing water from skirts,
shirts, shorts, towels and sheets.
I paint thank-yous on my palm
for the mother I saw at Panera yesterday
breaking bread, giving more than half to her son,
reminding me of my mother’s generosity,
for the tune my husband whistled
as he came down the stairs,
his hugs, and for the “Pickles” cartoon
in the paper that makes us laugh.
All day, keep me from taking things for granted:
spring flowers, running water, indoor plumbing,
vacuum sweeper, phone calls from my daughters.
Keep me painting thank-yous on my palms.

© by Wilda Morris.
Used with the author’s permission.


Wilda Morris is the mother of five, grandmother of fifteen and great-grandmother of seven. She learned to love poetry growing up in Iowa at the feet of her grandmother. Wilda has published two books of poetry, Szechwan Shrimp and Fortune Cookies: Poems from a Chinese Restaurant (RWG Press, 2008) and Pequod Poems: Gamming with Moby-Dick (Kelsay Books, 2019), and one nonfiction book. Wilma lives in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois; learn more about her and enjoy a monthly poetry contest at



Post New Comment:
Wilda Morris:
Thank you to the kind readers who responded - you gave me another reason to be thankful!
Posted 05/25/2020 12:22 PM
Arlene Gay Levine:
A lovely poetic remedy for what really matters...
Posted 05/24/2020 08:21 PM
So many reasons to be thankful! A wonderful reminder. Thank you!
Posted 05/24/2020 04:36 PM
Everyone should be able to relate to this nice poem. Thanks, Wendy, for including the spin cycle on the washer! That�s one thing I forget to include on my list. It�s good to be reminded of all the things we take for granted.
Posted 05/24/2020 03:42 PM
Lori Levy:
Beautiful poem of gratitude.
Posted 05/24/2020 03:10 PM
Astute observations, Wilda. Very heartening. You'll never have a bad day with this attitude. I like the examples of things to be thankful for that you've chosen. Barb Germiat
Posted 05/24/2020 02:41 PM
Surprise Reading Teacher:
I love this poem. What a great way to show gratitude! I, too, laughed at the Pickles funny just this morning. How did you know?
Posted 05/24/2020 01:51 PM
Being grateful changes everything doesn't it! Thank you for reminding us how much we have with this generous poem.
Posted 05/24/2020 12:14 PM
Jean Colonomos-1:
Posted 05/24/2020 12:01 PM
I love how you weave Sexton's line into this at unpredictable places.
Posted 05/24/2020 11:52 AM
Posted 05/24/2020 10:15 AM
Yes, indoor plumbing is too often taken for granted.
Posted 05/24/2020 10:01 AM
michael escoubas:
The whole world is nodding "how true" to this poem, Wilda. Thank you.
Posted 05/24/2020 09:06 AM
Lovely, Wilda, especially during this time of the pandemic. Phyllis
Posted 05/24/2020 08:16 AM
Sharon Waller Knutson:
Thank you Wilda. My favorite line is: sunrise turns my kitchen window to stained glass
Posted 05/24/2020 08:05 AM
Wendy, how wonderful to read one of your poems. It reminds me of all the very good things in my own life. Such a powerful poem using the most every day things. Good hearing from you, Merle
Posted 05/24/2020 07:41 AM
Here is my note to you: thank you! Randy
Posted 05/24/2020 07:16 AM
Larry Schug:
Thank you for the excellent poetic reminder to be grateful,even for the dog panting in my face a 4:45 a.m. After all he wake me to read this fine reminder on how to begin the day.
Posted 05/24/2020 07:12 AM

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