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Thanksgiving, in Crystal
by Henry Howard

Like sunlight on crystal,
The facets of our lives
Reflect a thousand reasons
For Thanks-giving:
Not loudly on a single festive day,
But with a small, quiet voice that says,
"Thank you" the whole year through.
It is that time of the season
To be thankful for the leaves,
Those playful, crinkly toys of Nature
That succumb to our boots with a delicious crunch
One can hear in the soul,
Or dance like red and golden elves
Around our fur-lined boots.
It is a time to be thankful
To those who daily whisper "I love you,"
So softly only the heart can hear it,
Even as our bodies and minds,
Too consumed
By the noise of the Day-to-Day,
Cannot hear the gift.
It is a day not to gorge selfishly,
But to indulge modestly,
And be aware of every bite of our holiday feast
As the blessing it is,
A special day to relish the bounty of Nature,
And the nature of Bounty.
It is a day to see the homeless and hungry
As we might look in a mirror and see ourselves,
Even as we give desperate thanks
To the thin line of fate that divides us
From the poor old greybeard with toothless gums,
Who calls the shadow of a freeway overpass his home.
On this official day
Of remembering to be thankful,
Remember to thank family and friends
As we should have done the whole year through.
Perhaps the year has been a harsh one,
And there seems little to be thankful for.
But somewhere, in the apartment down the hall,
Or on the bus beside you,
Or half a world away
In a country you never heard of,
Someone is suffering far worse,
And your heart can always find a reason
To be truly thankful.
The long festival day
Gives way to night,
Night surrenders to morning,
And morning gives birth
To the first day of the rest of our lives.
The left-overs are safely stowed away,
And sweaters and belts pull just a little tighter.
Thoughts return to work unfinished,
Dreams unfulfilled,
Plans pushed aside for the briefest time-out.
Nothing has changed,
Yet everything has,
As our eyes open wide and the sun tips with light
A thousand facets of a bright new day
Of Thanks-giving, in crystal.


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