21 February

Ben and sis Kelly
"Shield your joyful ones." —from an Anglican prayer

ODE TO THE JOYFUL ONES
by Thomas Lux

That they walk, even stumble, among us is reason
to praise them, or protect them—even the sound
of a lead slug dropped on a lead plate, even that, for them,
is music. Because they bring laughter’s
brief amnesia. Because they stand,
talking, taking pleasure in others,
with their hands on the shoulders of strangers
and the shoulders of each other.
Because you don’t have to tell them to walk toward the light.
Because if there are two pork chops
they will serve you the better one.
Because they will give you the crutch off their backs.
Because when there are two of them together
their shining fills the room.
Because you don’t have to tell them to walk toward the light.

“Ode to the Joyful Ones” by Thomas Lux from To the Left of Time. © Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016.

For Benjamin, born today in 1984, Evanston, IL. Missing from Delaware City, DE since 2 March 2016.

Benjamin and sis Kelly, 1984