A Bit of Thanksgiving
Thank you, Lord, for infant smiles
and children bright at play;
thank you for the silly souls
who goad us every day.
(We appreciate those most, O Lord,
those crosses that we bear,
and we thank you that we're not yet bald
from pulling out our hair.)
I thank you, Lord, for mercy!
It saves us from the brink;
and thank you, Lord, for righteous wrath --
we need more of it, I think.
But thank you for all gentle souls
who always tempers keep;
protect them, Lord, from the rest of us,
lest we kill them in their sleep.
I thank you, Lord, for cheerful sun
that rises every dawn,
and that my students learn to hide
the sound and sight of yawn,
that education is a joy
that overflows with awe,
and, on those crazy grading days,
that there are murder laws.
I thank you, Lord, for fruitful fields,
for wide and healthful skies,
and for the hopes that we can have
that are not marred by lies.
And thank you, God, for mysteries
still left for us to solve
upon this awesome floating ball
that rotates and revolves.
I thank you that we live here free
in houses without bars,
that there are things that we can own,
that no one owns the stars,
that joy and virtue freely flow
without a market price
while we have markets fully full
of grain and fruit and spice.
I thank you, Lord, for politics,
for presidents and such,
that they work so hard to get their way,
that they never get it much;
yea, for the limits you have placed
on corruption, fraud, and spite,
that we need only deal with them
a dozen times each night.
I thank you for the not-quite-hinged,
the high-strung drama queen,
who overreacts ten times a day
and twenty more if seen,
and for the fact we have the right,
however the world may go,
to stand our ground as he wails
and simply tell him, 'No.'
For those who will make trouble,
I thank you, too, for them;
they force us to be on our toes
and keep us fit and slim.
I thank you for our heartaches,
for things that go awry,
and thank you for each helping hand,
however small and shy.
Thank you, Lord, for critics harsh
who attack with whip and flail;
and because of harsh reviewers,
I thank you, Lord, for hell.
And thank you, Lord, for stupid folk,
that we can clearly see
in blatant view the foolish things
from which none of us are free.
And thank you for those shocking times
when we pedants who lecture all
on every foolish folly
into those follies fall,
for it teaches us the wisdom
of gentleness' restraint
lest we in turn be painted
with the brush by which we paint.
Thank you for your graces,
the good of little things,
which even in the hardest times
can make us laugh and sing.
And thank you for all wonders
that stimulate the mind --
no matter the occasion,
new truths our minds may find.
But for absurdities I thank you most--
they overflow all banks,
so if I thank you for each one,
I'll drown in endless thanks!
And thank you for sweet irony;
it gives the wit to see
that all the things we moan about
may be thanksgiving's seed.
But most of all, I thank you, Lord,
that long before we die,
we can see ourselves with wry regard,
and laugh until we cry.