Eternal Gratitude.

Dsc02480by Michelle Seyner05 Oct 2019

I've been told I owe a debt of gratitude
for everything I have ever gotten, and
for being "allowed" to live in this country.
Tell me: should my gratitude
extend to everything I
have ever gotten, and álso
to everything I'll ever have?
How often are payments due?
Yearly? Monthly? Weekly? Daily?
Is it a debt I can pay off
before I die, or will it be
transferred to my children?
Should it be paid in smiles?
Or with my taxes?
Maybe with my submission?
Should I gift-wrap it?
Am I supposed to pay
it quietly, like hush-money?
Or should I proclaim it
loudly, so people know
I am paying my dues?
Is my debt paid
per critique swallowed?
Per protest I do
not partake in?
Per racist "joke" I ignore?
Should the payments be white-washed?
And when I'm finally dead,
each drop of thankfulness
squeezed out of me:
does my family get a certificate
"Debt of Eternal Gratitude
paid in full" ??

4 October 2019.
Michelle Seyner.