Grace by Michael Gillan Maxwell

it isn’t fortune, and it isn’t fame
it’s everyday miracles
that sustain me

a robin singing outside my window
at the end of an endless winter
on the first warm day of spring

twenty dollar bill in the pocket
of a jacket I haven’t worn
for months

one last beer in the fridge
hidden behind
the hot sauce and pickles

a dog’s wet, sloppy tongue
licking my face
in the morning

the first explosion of tulips
a golden riot of daffodils
the ecstatic rhythm

of flapping wings
instead of a dreadful thud
when children fly from the nest

one more cookie in the jar
the last piece of chocolate
a parking space in front of the building

the thrum of a motor boat out on the lake
water slapping at her hull
the murmuring buzz of honey bees

ambrosia of a lilac bush in full bloom
candle in the window, the smell of wood smoke
logs blazing in the fireplace on a cold night

the blues and wild gypsy guitars
freshly ground coffee beans in the morning
a car that starts when it’s 20 below

sheep grazing in a field
horses at the fenceline
the news that my test is negative

the smell of damp earth after a spring rain
the gentle breathing of my bed partner
in the middle of the night

a sign that says
Gas Next Exit
when the tank is empty

the sound of thunder from a far shore
the breeze that rises up before a storm
a 3 point basket at the buzzer

home run in the bottom of the ninth
hitting 21 against the dealer at the Blackjack table
a check from the IRS

the cop
who let me go
with just a warning

an unexpected kindness
a feather in my path
Tibetan prayer flags in the mailbox

all messages from Angels
coming through
the static and the noise

Michael Gillan Maxwell
Michael Gillan Maxwell is a writer and visual artist in the Finger Lakes Region of New York state. His hybrid collection of visual art and prose The Part Time Shaman Handbook: An Introduction For Beginners, was published by Unknown Press in 2015. Maxwell also writes songs, lists, recipes and irate letters to his legislators. Prone to random outbursts, he may spontaneously combust or break into song at any moment. Maxwell can be found ranting and raving on Your Own Backyard at


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