Thank You For Sundays by Temma Schaechter

Thank you for Sundays with my sister

on the futon, face down, feet dangling off the edge,

flipping through wedding catalogs and picking out future caterers.

For the caress of my bubby,

quivering fingertips against a thin shoulder,

begging me to drink the last sip of milk.

Thank you for the lullaby of 8th avenue ambulances, the sweet buzz

of my mama’s snore, deep and lingering,

which means she’s dreaming something lovely—

For every morning, the moment I remember I have the power to lay there forever. Thank you

for salted caramel ice cream, for almond butter and jam sandwiches in english class.

Envy is inevitable, brewing, bubbling till it boils over, but all the while,

thank you  for unspoken understandings between two friends,

when she knows you’re craving mochi or you know she’s in a crying mood. Thank you for

love, innocent and inexperienced,

wide-eyed and wrapped in a beat-up blanket.

And for the lips that kiss him—

the same that once suckled at mama’s breast.

I know loneliness can’t be evaded,

but thank you for the hours spent eating doughnuts, discussing humanity

with my big sister and her clingy, genius boyfriend.

When I coerce my poor tone-deaf mama into

singing me the three songs she knows by heart, thank you for that moment

that we feel like the only two people in the world.

And here is the addictive smell of newly-printed sheet music, and

here are the cool, smooth keys like the ones on the accordion

my babysitter used to let me bang on in second grade.

And when I’m feeling homesick,

I can summon the image of my daddy looming over the piano as he composed,

and the chocolate-covered graham crackers that,

when mama wasn’t looking,

bubby would sneak me,

reminding me to finish my milk.

Thank you for the milk.