A Thanksgiving Blessing

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Bless those who harvest–
Bless all who toil in the soil–
So God can feed us.

Bless those who butcher–
Bless the beast which makes our feast–
So God can feed us.

Bless the store grocer–
Bless the store, with food galore–
So God can feed us.

Bless those who prepare–
Bless their hands, in pots and pans–
So God can feed us.

Bless those who gather–
To see friends and family–
For God has blessed us.

Bless those we love–
So dear, whether far or near–
For God has blessed us.

Bless our pets, Dear Lord–
In their eyes, a deep truth lies–
Of how you bless us.

Bless those who must work–
So that they, their bills may pay–
This Thanksgiving Day.

Patient, prisoner–
Alone who live, to care give–
That God may bless us.

For those in mourning–
On this day, Dear God, we pray–
That we may bless them.

Bless those who worship–
Prayers that rise to the skies–
For God to bless us.

Bless all creation–
Who sing this song all day long–
Dear God, please bless us!

 

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Esmeralda

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I wrote a poem for the Peace Corps’s poetry contest last month. It didn’t win anything, but . . . here it is:

Esmeralda

Guatemala!Guatemala!Guatemala!

Gua-TE!

The ayudante sings his song for

Esmeralda,

Her Bluebird school bus carriage

Transformed from Cinderella-pumpkin-yellow

To Mayan huipil hues of reds, greens, and blues

For her trip to Guate.

Guatemala!Guatemala!Guatemala!

Gua-TE!

The city, the ayudante, Esmeralda

Beckon to the campesino,

His cowboy hat pulled low over

Coal black eyes

Watching his basket of chickens—his life—hoisted onto

Esmeralda’s back.

Guatemala!Guatemala!Guatemala!

Gua-TE!

The volunteer hurries through Antigua’s market

To Esmeralda,

Smoke stinging her eyes, backpack slung across

Her shoulder,

With one change of clothes, a toothbrush, and

Her dreams inside.

Guatemala!Guatemala!Guatemala!

Gua-TE!

The ayudante’s call to

Adventure

For the campesino, for the volunteer,

For Esmeralda—

All bound together on the road to

Guate.

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  • Esmeralda is the name of a bus company from Antigua to Guatemala City. They are Bluebird school buses from the States painted in bright colors.
  • Ayudante is the “helper” to the driver of the bus. He would sing-song “Guatemala! Guatemala! Guatemala! Guate!” to announce the impending departure of a bus for Guatemala City.
  • Huipil is a Mayan woman’s brightly colored blouse.
  • Campesino is a man who lives in the rural countryside.