The Sunday Poem: Olivia Gatwood . . . If there was a god

If there was a god

I would thank her for the toothy insides
of ripe pomegranates
for the easy thumbing of their soft peels,

thank her for seventy-three degree weather—
for leaning oaks
glass bottom boats
and always acknowledging what is beneath us

for the neighbors who kept their tire swings
long after their kids had grown up and moved out
and the loyal lemonade stand customers
for the man who gave up his seat
to a pregnant woman
on the 5 o’clock 3 train,

or for the brief moment of connectedness
between two strangers reading the same book,
I would thank her for that book.

I would thank her for the the bicycle shops
that fix tires without charge
and Costco samples on Saturdays,
in fact, I would thank her for all of the free things ever
except price quotes, I might not thank her for those.

But I would thank her for the good kinds of taxes
and the schools that they build,
I would thank her for wide bike lanes
and the cars who stay out of them

I would thank her for the persistent love of New York City,
and the fact that even when I want to hate it
I end up dancing to a singing saxophone
in the middle of Grand Central Station,
I want to thank her for the saxophone
because it always sounds so good.

I would thank her for the parents
who made their kids learn an instrument
or the kids who made their parents let them,
I would thank her for the kids
who said fuck it and taught themselves.

For the teachers
and philosophers
and waitresses
and scientists

for the good fathers
and the person who invented eye glasses,

I would thank her for every coincidence,
and someone might say
“In god’s eyes there is no coincidence”
but the god I am imagining
still doesn’t know what to make of the fact
that people run into their friends on the street
just moments after thinking of one another

My god is just as confused as we are,
my god thinks the saying
“Everything happens for a reason” is bullshit
she also thinks the act of claiming one’s god as their own
is serious bullshit

I just want to thank something for
the people who organize archives
for the museum guides who get way too excited
and the tourists who ask questions

I want to thank something
for the answer Yes

If this god exists,
I would hope she loves the people who doubt her existence
because then maybe she would
continue to give us these moments,
these moments that make us say
          If there was a god,
          I would thank her for this.

Olivia Gatwood

Here is"Button Poetry" read by her, which is right on, for all working women everywhere.

Olivia Gatwood is a poet and writer from Albuquerque, New Mexico. She is an active member of the National Poetry Slam community and has taught poetry workshops to high school and middle school students in New Mexico and Brooklyn. She has been featured on HBO’s Brave New Voices and was a finalist at the 2012 Women of the World Poetry Slam. She is currently studying fiction at Pratt Institute in New York City.

And don't miss John Macker's poem "Villagra's Lament" which is New Mexico Mercury's poem of the week.

Poetry at the Range (Cafe in Bernalillo) features Jessica Lopez on the 12th of March, Wednesday at 7 to 9 and this is a rousing new event thanks to Mr. Bill Nevins.

Georgia Santa Maria and Zachary Kluckman are featured in the Duende Poetry Series March 23, Sunday at 3pm at Anasazi Fields Winery in Placitas (505)867-3062.

Submissions with photo and short bio are always welcome. (my email). Thanks to all contributers and the Duke City Fix and Jon Knudsen. Olivia, you are great!

Views: 1489

Comment by Margaret Randall on March 2, 2014 at 7:23am

So much evoked in this poem... so many good memories and new memories for those not evoked! Thank you Olivia, thank you Larry!

Comment by Izquierdo on March 2, 2014 at 2:35pm

I don't know if I would thank It for all those things, but close, and I might add a few. I thank you for writing the poem, Olivia. I thank It for you gift today. Great poem, great writing. 

Comment by larry goodell on March 2, 2014 at 4:26pm

it's gratitude and when things are down down down I have to think of, myself, starting from the fact I'm breathing and going on to particularities as in this refreshing poem . . .

Comment by Dee Cohen on March 3, 2014 at 4:41am

Great energy in this poem. Love the tightrope between doubt and certainty. Dee

Comment by larry goodell on March 6, 2014 at 7:10am

"one of best poems I've read in long, like, like!" says Beverly Buffington . . . 

Comment by AriesSweet on March 8, 2014 at 11:56am

I love this poem! One of the best I've read in a while.  For the amateur that I am, I long to be able to write with much more abundance of words like this.  Great read!


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