I am not grateful for everything:
humidity, hatred, or the vengeful vow,
foam packing peanuts, blisters, the slippery slope.
I’m grateful for many things:
for the glass of wine I’m holding now,
for watermelon, and love, and chocolate, and hope.
On this June evening in Illinois,
fireflies flicker across the herb garden,
a rabbit, nose twitching, edges around the yard.
There is enough to give your heart joy,
twilight washing over us like assurance of pardon,
a breath of gratitude for this day’s gentle reward.
I never give thanks for the funereal pall
of nursing homes that stink of forgotten youth,
or memories of failure, gestures of forgiveness that fell flat.
I don’t truly love most people, all in all,
and I’ve broken my wings against that truth,
but they don’t all know it, and maybe I’m thankful for that.
CHRISTINA BERRY is grateful for the PC(USA) and the congregation at First Presbyterian Church in Sterling, Illinois, where she has served as pastor for the past eight years. Currently on sabbatical, Christina is at work on a collection of poetry for the church year titled “Prairie Liturgy.”