Grateful
Joanne Faries

Sam dropped the pen into the grate. Rain poured and gushing water gurgled, swallowed his sacrifice, and swirled away. The ritual was observed by his wife and son. Tucked under umbrellas, they bowed their heads as Sam murmured a few words.  

"It was a sunny Tuesday and I strolled to the train station. Stopped here to jot a note and fumbled my favorite Mont Blanc. "   

Joey interrupted his father, "Then you cursed. Don't forget that part, Dad."   

"Yes, Joey. I cursed, glanced at my watch, and decided the heck with it. I wanted my pen back."   

"So you ran home."   

"Yep. I retrieved your fishing pole … and you chewed bubblegum."   

"We returned to fish for your pen," added Joey.   

"Success. Two tries and the sucker stuck," said Sam. His voice broke, "Then I walked you home."   

"Mom greeted us at the door … she was crying," said Joey. They glanced at Denise. She nodded, her eyes gleaming.   

"September 11, 2001, we watched as the towers fell. I could have been on a train into the city, barreling into bedlam. Instead, by accident, I dropped the gift my father gave me for graduation. He looked out for me somehow, while struggling to survive at the World Trade Center," Sam said and raised his eyes to the heavens.  

  He continued, "We sanctify this grate each year. Consecrate it with a new Mont Blanc."   

"No fishing today and God bless Grandpa. Amen," finished Joey.

First published: November, 2011
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