With Thanksgiving coming up and the world crashing down, we’re in order for some gratitude. For a few chuckles read The Ten Gifts of Rejection Letters. And with your heart lightened start counting your blessings.

You have fingers that work your keyboard.
you have fingers
and a keyboard
and a desk upon which it sits
and the chair you draw before the desk
and a tush you settle into the chair and perhaps lament
from time to time that it’s tushier
than you might like
because you are fortunate enough to
overeat sometimes.
And you have a room in which the desk and chair reside
and a home that encompasses said room.

And you have at least one living relative who loves you
and whom you love
and very likely more.
You have an address book filled with family
and with friends, too.
Friends who are there for you
and sometimes are not. Be grateful.
You have friends who tell you
we will get through this hand in hand.
I promise you.

Give thanks for eyes that see the blue sky and against its autumn azure
note the darkening maroon leaves of a bradford pear
or a dogwood’s crimson,
or the maple’s sun-drenched yellow.
Be grateful for your childhood curiousity, or the Girl Scout badge you earned
or the grandparent who walked you to the woods one day,
pointing out the difference
between an oak leaf’s rounded edges
and a chestnut’s serrated ones.

Or maybe it was Linda, the YMCA counselor you think about
each time you see a white pine;
you know it’s a white pine
because she taught you.
“Each five-needle bundle spells out the name W-H-I-T-E. See?”
And you did.
So you are grateful for Linda
and a childhood of summers that tanned you
brown as a chestnut swaying beneath
a canopy of serrated leaves.

Need I say be grateful for your children?
Your loving spouse?

Count your blessings
because Thanksgiving is coming.
And you will have thoughts of mothers and grandmothers, aunts and sisters
whose pies and potatoes
you now taste only in your memory.
Pie memories and potato memories are salted with loss;
leaven them with gratitude
for the time you were given and think
maybe just maybe
there are turkeys in heaven.
And in heaven no one forgets the string beans
in the microwave.