May Comes Tomorrow by Melenie Freedom Flynn

Melenie Freedom Flynn’s essay “Message From Your Inmate” recently won the annual nonfiction contest at Vela Magazine. A recipient of a MacDowell Colony Fellowship and Djerassi Artist-in-Residence Fellowship, she lives in Easthampton, Massachusetts and is a member of Straw Dog Writers Guild.

May Comes Tomorrow

I’m grateful for the creak and moan of our winter-weary windows opening for the first time—as stunned and relieved as we are.

I’m grateful for a single white taper candle lit on the kitchen counter in the middle of the day.

I’m grateful my husband said the outlines of the still-bare trees look like lungs.

I’m grateful for the jar of honey glowing like a midsummer evening inside our cabinet.

I’m grateful for sharp steel stakes, pounded deep into the ground, holding hospital tents steady as a southern windstorm whips through New York City.

I’m grateful for how chopped parsley smells like wet river rocks and stains the cutting board green as finger paint.

I’m grateful for our neighbors, one by one hanging Christmas lights in April to brighten the dark nights.

I’m grateful for the paper sign in the salon’s window on Cottage Street that says in swirly pink paint, “We miss you too!”

I’m grateful for fierce green blades slicing their way up through last year’s leaves.

I’m grateful that even with its blustery showing off, the snowstorm knew by evening it would melt away like water poured over powdered sugar.

I’m grateful the light hangs on later and later now, insisting there’s still time.

I’m grateful for the woman striding down the street with branches of blooming witch hazel wrapped in her arms like a baby.

I’m grateful for pale green spears of asparagus poking their heads up through the river soil, unaware that anything out of the ordinary is going on with the humans.

I’m grateful for buttery toast.

I’m grateful for the blue heron with silvery wings announcing her triumphant return to preside over the pond by our house.

I’m grateful for a perfect over-medium egg spilling across the white dish, yoke as bright as daffodils.

I’m grateful that chopping onions makes me cry a different kind of tears.

I’m grateful May comes tomorrow—generous, firm, ready to give April a rest.