Thanksgiving 2010

Every year at this time in the month of November/ I like to slow down, settle back and remember/ The reasons I’m grateful and glad to be here/ And why I say thank you, at least once a year

I try to resist my old habit of stress/ About things that are bad, and unfair and a mess/ So I’m taking a break from the broken and wrong/ And making my list, which I hope will be long

Living at all is, quite frankly, amazing/ And when I slow down I see plenty worth praising/ Like roses and fruit trees and wonderful friends/ And the way that an earthworm can crawl from both ends

I don’t mean to be arrogant, snobbish or haughty/ But I really am grateful to live in this body/ The muscles and nerves and the senses all work/ The eyeballs still roll and the shoulders still shirk

The systems take in and put out what they should/ And the arms and the legs do their job pretty good/ The more that I notice the more that I’ve found/ What good fortune I have to be walking around

When I stop and reflect on the good things in life/ Like my health and my neighbors, my town and my wife/ I find myself calmer, more peaceful, less tense/ My mind is much clearer, my humor less dense

I’m thankful to have good clean water to drink/ Which miraculously comes — hot and cold — from the sink/ I’m thankful for plumbing, for books and for tea/ And OK, I confess, for our flat screen TV

I’m thankful for evenings with cats on our laps/ For the freedom to loaf and to take peaceful naps/ I’m thankful for comfort, for time to relax / And the good chiropractors who work on our backs

I’m thankful for progress that’s making things better/ (as well as for rain, which is making things wetter)/ And even though most of my spending is frugal/ I do like my everyday access to Google

I know that I’m privileged, I’m thankful as hell/ That I’m able to read and to write and to spell/ I’m thankful for all those who struggled before/ For my freedom to vote, which I never ignore

I like to consider my reason for living/ And make something real of this time of Thanksgiving/ I live to tell everyone else here on earth/ That there’s no need to hate, that we all have our worth

Try seeing the good within all kinds of folks/ And refrain from the insults and prejudiced jokes/ Don’t pick on the queer kids, stop teasing the sissies/ They’re struggling enough with Descartes and Ulysses

Stop making us suffer, especially the kids/ There’s no need to panic, stop flipping your lids/ Gay people are here, we’re not going away/ You might as well recognize queers are OK

It’s fine if we marry, it does no one harm/ To honor a bride with a bride on her arm/ Or a groom with a groom, what is it to you?/ Just open your heart, you’ll be glad when you do

When meeting somebody who’s gay, bi or trans/ Try being friendly, be one of their fans/ You might find your view of the world will be changed/ To learn we’re not pedophiles, sick or deranged

Queer people like me want the same things as you/ To be safe, to be loved, to have something to do/ That leads to fulfillment, the joy to be living/ And things to be thankful for every Thanksgiving

And you, as you’re reading this, are you not glad/ That all things considered, life isn’t so bad?/ Let’s keep that in mind, take some time and remember/ To say thanks a lot in this month of November

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 Down Under.