He Gave Us Nature:
A Tanka Sequence*
. . . for Papa
by Thelma T. Reyna

He gave us nature
as a balm we’ll always have:
cool shade, birds splashing
in gurgling fountains kept filled,
birdhouses on trees and stakes.

Nature showcased bright
in our spacious yard: twenty
fruit trees, beds bordered
with boulders spilling blooms, vines…
potted plants parked on patios.

Large redwood deck he
built overlooking gardens
teeming with fragrance,
his labors devout paeans
to the bounties of nature.

Such ordinary
things he touched with fingers kind!
Such ordinary
things he did and gave for those
he cherished and left behind.

*Originally published in a prior version titled “Ordinary Things: Tanka Sequence,”
in author’s book, Dearest Papa: A Memoir in Poems (Golden Foothills Press, 2020).

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