MUSINGS # 70 - Poem in Roanoke Review

Laughter Really Is Carbonated Holiness

Annie Lamott

All the girls in the family do it –

throw back our heads in laughter exposing

our necks, our throats. Helpless with it.

It must be hereditary. Even our little one does it,

sensing the alchemy. When we laugh till we cry

– the thin line the Bard trod between comic/tragic –

we merge, come close as one.

The bodies that encase us dissolving

like salt or sugar in water with a quick stir.

Today, after hours of foot stomping Nos!

she curls up in my arms and begs for a story

that will make us laugh till we hiccup.

Smiling, I say such moments arise

like magic and cannot be called up at will.

Nancy, whose three sons died in separate accidents,

has adopted Lamott’s quote as her motto.

How can she ever laugh? Then again, how can she not?

Wisdom – that sorry consolation – bubbling up

from sorrow, thin-skinned, refracting light into prisms.

I’m forever blowing bubbles, my father used to sing to me

long ago, pretty bubbles in the air.