Here’s to the throats that are raw from screaming under starry skies
And the ones who’d rather bleed than cry one more time.
Here’s to the tree huggers and barefoot runners,
The ones with dirt-stained converse and Dean’s List honors.
Here’s to the nuns smiling behind metal grates
And the unbelievers who’ll never understand why they chose that fate.
Here’s to the black walls that hem you in and the hope that will rise again,
The miles between your lips and mine, and the blood that’s also wine.
Here’s to that hill in West Roxbury and the end of a real good story,
And here’s to the swans at Hyde Park and the incredible Weight of Glory.
Here’s to Chris Martin’s Clocks and the ones who can never find matching socks,
To the bruised knees that hit the floor and the addicts who keep coming back for more.
Here’s to the brokenhearted dreamers hanging on by a thread, and here’s to the distance between your heart and your head.
Here’s to the crying babies who can’t sleep and all the watches with no time to keep
And here’s to the notes hidden underground and the lives that got turned upside down.
Here’s to the margin-doodlers and the baseball-scorers, and the prayerful late-night chapel adorers.
Here’s to the soldiers with knives in their teeth and the Boy Scouts selling Christmas wreaths,
The gymnasts flying through the air and all the kids with cancer who lost their hair.
Here’s to the ones struggling to let go and the hearts buried under six inches of snow
And the longing and the sighs and those curious brown eyes.
Here’s to the constellations on your face and an abundance of grace
And here’s to all the bruises and scrapes and God-sized shapes.
Here’s to the mother with the empty womb and the father in the silent hospital room.
Here’s to the history teacher with trembling hands and the high school boys in bands,
The worlds under blanket forts and all the criminals lined up in court.
Here’s to the wannabe ballerinas dancing in kitchens and the uncles who want to listen,
The worn out maps with criss-crossed lines, and the candles flickering in holy shrines.
Here’s to the ones who missed their flight and all the moths that get caught in the light,
The stuffed dog you’ve had since you were nine, and the liars who say they’re fine.
Here’s to the ones who read the back of the book
And all the boys who will never know what they took.
Here’s to Courtney with the cardboard and dirty fingernails
And the sandcastles you built with your buckets and pails.
Here’s to the dots and the dashes and the story your Grandfather wrote,
The blankets woven by veterans and the absentee ballot votes.
Here’s to the couple about to be married and all the secrets you have ever carried.
Here’s to the gunshots on Columbia Road and good friends who lighten the load,
To the priests with the white collars and the girl who wishes she was a little smaller.
Here’s to the fingers stained with ink and the diabetics who collapse in front of the kitchen sink
And the hot Italian breeze and the ears that swell up when stung by bees.
Here’s to the kids tangled in book pages and all the aunts who won’t reveal their ages,
To the sunrise seekers and the man in the factory who makes your sneakers.
Here’s to all the apologies you could never utter and the pennies that got lost in the gutter,
And here’s to the changing of the seasons and that endless list of reasons.
Here’s to the little league heroes and the paychecks with not enough zeroes,
To the signs you can’t ignore and the mysterious man knocking at your door.
Here’s to the cracks in your bones and all the sons that are grown,
The fireman with soot in his lungs and the lives that have just begun.
Here’s to the homesick lovers afraid of being alone, and here’s to the Love that will carry them home.
And if you’ve ever felt yourself spinning at the speed of light through this one wild and precious life
Then this one’s for you.
Inspired by Anis Mojgani’s “Shake the Dust”