To Give Thanks…
is to remember how it feels
to experience belonging, to look long
around a laden table and be glad to claim
a place among that gathered company.
To give thanks is to remember
what has been – time’s bewildering recital –
and, despite so much, to look ahead
with undiminished hope.
To give thanks is to recall with heartache
all those absent from the assembled,
the dear departed, those, too,
who never made it in the first place,
due to loss, or want, foul fortune, being born
at the wrong place, at the wrong time.
To give thanks takes all that we have been,
all that we are and yet might be, and shapes it new
around a fuller, richer, broader future feast.
J. Barrie Shepherd is an award-winning poet and an honorably retired PC(USA) pastor, the author of many books.