Thanksgiving Poem, 2012

It’s Thanksgiving, and I’m 37, ready to be Thankful for smaller things, everyday miracles.
(No parking ticket.)
(The sound of my daughter laughing.)
(No snow and already mid-November in Chicago.)
Ready too, to cast my prayers for things I would be grateful for should the Divine deign to send them my way,
nothing big,
nothing too extraordinary.
I have let go the self-obsession that once demanded MacArthurs as the stuff of dreams.
I’m 37.
The work is enough.
I feel grateful I am able to do it,
that every day I wake up to a job I love,
a privilege afforded the very few and I am wise enough now to know it,
what a blessing it is to make work you believe in,
that sustains you during the hard times because,
we know,
there will always be hard times.

But I am ready,
to be Thankful for things I have not got,
ready for them to come my way and I swear
(I swear!)
I will sing their praises:
an uninterrupted poop, for example, most humble human function and never,
not these days,
not any more,
There is always someone who needs something at the very moment butt meets can, knocks at the door, questions, misplaced items, a waiting bladder, a child who cannot survive even one more minute without you, I never knew what a gift it was to go to the bathroom alone, to linger even, magazine in hand but now I do.
I would be ready should this blessing come.
I would know to lift a prayer,
an open heart, in gratitude:
Thank You Lord!
Thank You Lord! For This, my Private Poop!

I am ready for other things too:
a night where neighbors do not honk their horns,
where no cat copulates in the alley.
I am ready to face a Sunday with no dirty dishes,
ready for the miracle of jeans that button without lying on the bed.
And I am ready—Oh G-d, I am ready—for under-eye cream that works,
for depuffing magic that lets me believe the clock might slow, even though I know,
I know,
this body is the one I’ve got and it has not failed me,
every breath is a blessing.

You see how I am wise now?
How I understand this life—
dented and full,
plagued by constant interruption,
endless to-do lists,
everyday insecurities—
is the one I have and oh,
thank You,
My G-d,
I know:
it is a good one.