Thanks for Everything

A rhyme at Thanksgiving time

I can hardly believe it’s already November

The month when I like to sit back and remember

The reasons I’m thankful and grateful and glad

And not to obsess quite so much on the bad

It’s easy to go there, to dwell on the grim

Like the chance for real health care reform growing dim

There’s war and corruption and justice denied

By elected officials who’ve cheated and lied

While people endure economic distress

The so-called “conservatives” add to the mess

What’s wrong with this picture is clear as a bell

Like the “Defense of Marriage” and “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”

Those laws that Obama says he’ll overturn

But when he will do it we still can’t discern

I know as I’m watching my blood pressure climb

That the Change We Believe In could take a long time

That’s why each year I make it my aim

To lighten my load with this thankfulness game

I say thanks to the ocean, the birds and the trees

And what’s left of the cartilage down in my knees

Thanks to the farmers who bring us our food

And thanks for the comforts in life I’ve accrued

Thanks to the animals, thanks to the plants

Thanks for warm socks and for clean underpants

While bigots and homophobes truly are hateful

There’s plenty of reasons I still can be grateful

It’s good for my soul and it’s good for my spirit

“Thank you!” sounds good and I’m thankful to hear it

Gratitude helps my rigidity soften

So really, it’s good to be thankful more often

I actually try to be thankful each day

But my preoccupations can get in my way

I worry and fret and I stay awake nights

I fear that gay people will not get our rights

The right to be married, the right to adopt

To be free from queer bashing, which still hasn’t stopped

No federal law against discrimination

Based on one’s sexual orientation

And need I remind you that even today

Women still are unequal with no ERA?

Numerous grievances always persist

That’s why I must focus on making my list

I’m thankful to all who bring joy to my life

My neighbors and friends and especially my wife

I make it my practice this time every year

To remember the good and be happy I’m here

I think of the very good fortune of mine

That even with challenges I’m doing fine

Gratefulness outweighs my doubts and my fears

I’m grateful I’ve done “Living Out” for 10 years

Ten years of this venue to kvetch and to vent

For that I’m most grateful and truly content

My life’s pretty good: I have love, I have friends

My things-to-be-thankful-for list never ends

Come to think of it, my life could hardly be sweeter

I hope that’s true for you too, my beloved Dear Reader.

Sally Sheklow has been a part of the Eugene community since 1972 and is a member of the WYMPROV! comedy troupe. Her column, which began at EW in 1999, also runs in several other newspapers and magazines around the country and world.