To Doris Thurston on Her Eightieth Birthday

      by Sam Hamill

I hope that should I live to be
four score years or more,
I too will have learned to see
the beauty of this suffering world

through the eyes of a good-hearted woman.
What joy sustains and grief embraces—
the people, the stories, the places—
make it worth it to be human.


From Measured by Stone, Willimantic, Connecticut: Curbstone Press, 2007, page 69. Doris H. Thurston lived from 24 February 1924 to 7 March 2017. See a memorial for Doris on the Haiku Northwest website.