Upon Receiving My Inheritance

By William Fargason

I said Thank You father for giving me
this disease that will one day bind my bones
together at each joint Thank You genetics
for passing this down to me and not my sister
perfectly healthy Thank You for choosing
me Thank You bones some days I can’t sit up
without crying some days I can’t sit up at all
Thank You painkillers for your blessed strength
when I have none help me not feel Thank
You doctors and doctors and doctors and every
room I waited in for you I still wait now Thank You
mother for your company every room is less
empty because of you Thank You father for all
the years you had this disease undiagnosed blamed it
on lifting lumber or the years of contact sports
father you must have felt the same pain but didn’t
have the words for it yet didn’t know how to
voice pain except with your hands except to ask
more of me at the table scribbling my homework
with a dull pencil Thank You father my heart
has a tattoo of a heart with barbed wire wrapped
around it Thank You body I left myself came back
and realized I was still there all along Thank You
mirror the body is always more reliable
than the mind Thank You hands I can still form
into fists underneath the sheets Thank You
doctors for telling me that if my bones fuse
I will be like a tree Thank You for that metaphor
Thank You for the images of Dante’s forest
infested with harpies Thank You river water
fir trees open air I have tasted your sweetness
and turned away Thank You trees for your resistance
in every thunderstorm that passes outside
my window I wake up and still see the oak tree
standing Thank You rain I can only hope
to add rings beneath the bark I can only
hope to one day be cut down and counted

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