Thank You Poem

The Sound of Thank You
with first two lines from W.S. Merwin


With the night falling we are saying thank you,
thank you Kat, Prashant, Alex, and Mark,
you might hear it in the hum of vibrating strings,
Dave, David, Faye, and George,
that sound, invisible as electricity
dancing in our ears at a high frequency,
as we send our thanks, Vinod, Sandip, Praful, and Julius,
like a tuning fork thrumming and buzzing
or the way the buzz of the bees foreshadows
the making of honey, rich with hexagons,
collected over the warm, swollen months,
you’ve fed our waiting tongues,
Nazim, Kusum, Rumjhum, and Colleen,
and filling, in the act of
Love, what else could it be, so thank you
Kathlene, Christine, Nayan, and Suman,
A warm red spreading.


From the darkness, a spark of light
comes from Jeordan, Jaelyn, Anirvan, and Dylan.
From warm rooms, a promise of more
books comes from Forman, Freeman, Brynn, and Joanne,
a promise of turning pages to find crumbs
left by ancestors, of sifting through words to
the sounds they left after.
What do we hold in our hands if not this?
And so we thank you, Von, Amber, Trevor, and Claire,
as the sounds of wax drip, as the candle burns,
Meher, Colter, Jagdish, and Kailash, & the night
casts mere shadows as we write
your names on the wall, Devesh, Raghav, Manav, Sourav,
we write Anand, Sharon, Denton, and Marvin
on the dog-eared page, we write
Rucha, Noa, Ramya, Radha in our heads
while walking  city streets, we write
to the commotion of engines, and feet, and dogs,
to the sound of leaf drop through smog.
Thank you, we write, Rashda, Shilpa, Pooja, Chauna, while chopping
onions for supper.


Listen: Anna, Vandana, Elana, Rubina, the Muse wrestles doubt
deep in the earth. Listen: Karina, Veena, Sunita, Vandita,
your footfalls turn with day, padding
on the remnants of what came before. Listen:
Geeta, Kavita, Rita, Florencia, in a land of no autumns,
we write. In the monsoons and snows,
in the dry heat of May, we write.  
Listen: Julia, Sonia, Soniah, and Virginia,
it’s the day we dreamt long ago
and we stand among its trees, listening.


With the night falling we are saying thank you,
Dania, Sarah, Deborah, Chitra, with the gulmohar’s
bright orange petals, we say thank you, Lopamudra, Cora, Arisa,
with the cheerful chatter of the capuchin, we thank you,
Nandita, Monisha, Slavica, Lynessa, with castanets and abundance
of ocean waves, we thank you, Nisha, Lisa, Srinika, Monica.
It’s a night of open sound & the vowels thank you,
Erika, Dipika, Radhika, Angela, nested in an indigo cloak,
& the beaks of birds in a confluence
of V’s thank you Lupilla, Rahila, Jackie, Mathangi
& the trunks of elephants in a juggernaut of J’s thank you,
Penelope, Ravi, Tara, Sugi, & the eyes of the horned owl in a pair
of wise Os thank you, Tony, Stephanie, Adi,
sounding through the night’s long call
curved like a mountain’s hefty hip.


Let us bow to the generosity of Nandini, Rodney, and Lakshmi.
The quiver of arrows & the abundance
of feathers at their tips
means there is time to say
thank you, Shimi, Amy, Eberly, Ansley,
so we call to you, Emily, Anjali, Shirley, and Preethi,
from across the swelling seas
we call to you, Swati, Dorothy, Kristy, & you echo
with poems. Thank you, we sing to
Rajyashree, Sri, Tanushree, and Mari,
our poems soar a capella to
Carrie, Sherry, Brett, and Nancy,
you can hear them perhaps
in the murmur of eucalyptus leaves,
in the salt of tamarind or the sweet of
fresh mint, the light always summer.
Right now you are reading these words, Nabill,  
and smiling, Marcy, Shashi, Chelsea, and Stacey,
exhaling a love-poem that comes to us by
skydiving valentines.
Listen: Vishnu, Vidhu, Bhanu, and Bhupendra,
there is a unicorn racing
toward a new quantum promise
scattered like jacks on the swept playroom floor.
Have we forgotten, we’re tethered to each other,
Radhika, Sato and Indigo?
A silver thread of possibilities exists, Audrey,
a golden weave on a sari’s hem, Ashini
a script still black on yellowing pages, Kalyani,
& we hear it in the bustle of buses,
the clack of flip flops:
Thank you.