Sally Sheklow


A farewell from a longtime columnist

If you know me you know that each year in November

I like to take time to take stock and remember

That Thanksgiving means: Giving thanks for it all

For the things that are great and the things that are small

For a home that is safe and is peaceful inside

For the love and the laughs that I share with my bride

For my neighbors and friends who are gentle and kind

And for comfortable pants that don’t chafe my behind

For the cats who live with us and sit on our laps

And who join us in taking midafternoon naps

I give thanks for my wife and for having fun daily

Like singing old songs while she plays ukulele

I’m thankful my body is working so well

With its strong beating heart and a nose that can smell

For my bones and my muscles and all of my guts

For miraculous healing of owies and cuts

I’m grateful my life’s rich with Jewish traditions

Like Shabbes and latkes and klezmer musicians

And rabbis who teach us and help guide the way

As they wisely remind us to treasure each day

I’m thankful for comics on late night TV

Who help us endure the buffoon in DC

For the writers and activists using their voices

Exposing abuses, protecting our choices

For all of the women now speaking about

The assaults and harassment, men’s power and clout

From Cosby to Weinstein, O’Reilly and Ailes

And all of those guys who belong in our jails

But lest I get angry and waste all my chi

I’ll refocus on what’s most important to me

My gratitude list helps in keeping my cool

So I’ll stop and give thanks for the old Golden Rule

Treat others with kindness, as Ellen’s still saying

And never stop loving and laughing and playing

And that is exactly my plan, when I say

My “Living Out” column is going away

First written way back in nineteen ninety nine

The Weekly’s been great, and it’s taken some spine

To run a queer column, so dykey and gay

Especially with how things were back in the day

I’ve had eighteen years, my dear readers and friends

To write about life through a lesbian lens

Things really have changed and you know that they will

Keep changing and changing and changing more still

I’ve changed a lot, too, and I’m glad for the chance

To do my small part to help freedom advance

I’m glad that at last I’ve achieved some maturity

And am thankful as hell for my Social Security

While November’s a good month to stop and reflect

On things I enjoy and admire and respect

I send you my thanks and a wistful goodbye

And trust my departure won’t make people cry

I hope you’ll be brave and hang in with good cheer

There’s lots to be grateful for throughout the year

Stay out of the closet, be true to yourself

Get out there, have fun, don’t just sit on the shelf

Keep thankfulness going and joyfully give it

Life is amazing, however you live it

And always take time to sit back and remember

The things you are thankful for every November

Sally Sheklow wrote “Living Out” from 1999 until 2017 and has been a winner and frequent finalist for “best writer” in EW’s Best of Eugene annual readers poll.