A Thanksgiving poem

I gave my kids homework for Thanksgiving.  I asked them all to come with and write down the number of things they were thankful for, equal to their age.  I mostly wanted to just turn their thoughts towards thankfulness.  I had no idea that every one of them would take it so seriously.  We had amazing lists, articulately given, and seriously thoughtfully considered.  I am thankful for a family, that behind the normalcy and struggles of life, would stop to play along with dad’s possibly uncool ideas; a family,  that as my oldest son said is “…not perfect or quaint, but we stick together nonetheless and we love each other.”   Here’s the poem he wrote where he said that as his part of the homework.    I doubt you’ll enjoy it as much as I did but perhaps you will enjoy it anyway.

For the mother

Who outstretched her branches 

And dropped autumn leaves down on her children

Like a blanket 

To keep them from the chill

Who sprouts her roots into the earth

like veins

Spreading her examples of selflessness

Through the ground.

An imprint to last generations.

For the father

Who’s hard work and 

tired eyes

Always speak of kindness.

Who always has time for a smile

Or a joke.

Who speaks with such eloquent

Clarity and wisdom.

He does not use his knowledge

As a storm to rain down on his children,

But leans down to walk in the warm sun with them.

His love surpassing all of bloods obligations.

For the sisters 

Separated by age and time and space.

They fill that void with presence 

wider than the rocky terrain that keeps them apart.

The longing is thicker than the difference in age 

That can sometimes pull them apart. 

The sister of twenty two,

Despite being the eldest,

Was never above singing in the car

With her younger siblings.

Song pouring out of windows

And bouncing off car walls.

The eldest who sits in her catacomb

Of stone and brick,

away from snow.

Hopefully feeling our presence 

As we feel hers.

In the winter of her twentieth year

She is the sister who is also a silly friend,

Who shares her friends and jokes

And warmth with any being who needs them.

At the ripe age of 10,

She is growing so fast.

She has passed single digits 

But not the little firesprite

Who loves to move and dance.

The firesprite I hope is always a part of her.

For the younger brothers,

The one just below me,

Who’s thirst for knowledge and enriching pursuits 

Fuels my own.

Who kindness and brightness has always inspired me.

For the Jaybird 

Who flickers and flitters

Like a hummingbird.

Who taps rhythms and rings around my own awkward time steps.

Who has learned to laugh at himself.

For the youngest

My neighbor Bear.

Who’s conversations,

Though exhausting at times,

Never fail to enlighten

Or brighten my days.

Who’s different view of the world

Reminds me to keep my eyes open wide. 

For the many sassy felines

And playful canines,

Bring us all together with their 

Wagging tails 

And their anxious games.


For the family that sticks together.

Like a sticky globe, that rolls around

Picking up dust and bottle caps. 

It’s not pretty or clean,

It’s not perfect or quaint.

But we stick together nonetheless.

And we love each other,

Despite our flaws

And sometimes 

Because of them.

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