Simple Gratitude for Simple Gifts


He is old

uses a cane

bent over and slow

takes all he has to climb into the city bus

Takes the only seat left

Others fill the aisle—hanging from the loops

The bus jerks forward

He searches each pocket, jacket, pants, and shirt

His nose is running, now dripping—

but nothing to wipe it

Across the crowded aisle, I reach into my pocket

where I always carry napkins

I slide some toward him

across the aisle

between the legs of standers

He takes the napkins

wipes his nose—never looks my way

I know he's grateful

if a bit ashamed - I know because I've been there.

II.A Praying Mantis in the wild

How she managed two shopping carts

we do not know

She loads the rear of her SUV

with food and drinks

Stuffs her small child in his car seat

Ready to go?

_ No! _

Two carts to return with:

Child waiting. Car unlocked. Groceries piled.

My wife sees her predicament

"I’ll take your carts back."

"Oh, thank you. Thank you!"


As she drives away,

she rolls down her window:

"Oh, thank you. Thank you!"


She is hanging upside down

inside the window screen

She looks puzzled, trapped, chagrined—

her ET-like eyes

overwhelming her small head

bobbing on her long, slender, mint-green body

I’m certain she is a she—

her regal head contentedly nodding,

despite her obvious predicament

I slip a cupped white paper under her

The queen slowly steps forward

entering her carriage

“Welcome Madame.”

She is deferential to her new footman

I escort her outside

where she slowly exits her carriage

onto an hydrangea leaf

She pauses as she turns

and with the slightest nod of her head

she acknowledges her new footman.

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The Rev. Dr. Benjamin Pratt is a noted expert on compassionate care and is the author of _ Guide for Caregivers _.