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Laurie Lessen Reiche


a Thanksgiving Poem


Flawless California November. No, 

it isn’t a cartoon though the birds twittering make it sound 

like one and the swimming pool-blue sky and bongo-playing 

woodpecker and the trees with their thousands of broccoli-green 

leaf-hands all doing the princess-wave and the ice-white horse 

down in the valley, his inky lips opening and through picket fence-big teeth 

crying, “Wooooheeeeeeee!” three times in a row (he’s lonely on this happy 

morning, poor mouthy guy waiting for his slender rider 

to get home from school) and, of course, the sun, perfect silver circle 

ringed in daffodil-yellow, is a benevolent grinning king come out of his hot 

castle wearing a searing electric crown of diamonds that rain little gem-chips 

down on the grass and tree leaves of California November 

and everything is glittering while Bambi and his hardy mother and his father and his sisters and his brothers have a picnic feasting on juicy violets and 

nasturtiums that sprang up this autumn, and for dessert they are eating 

the diamond-glazed grass blades and the deer become illuminated, shining 

as is everything, even the ravens, those faithful black angels veering over the oasis 

of this luminescent day, their darkness shining slick as an old road to nowhere, 

but their black radiation lights up the lane to the horizon and there I see the tip of December’s head being born and the first sound its new ears hear 

is a chorus of gratitude rising from the rooftops of every house in America 

and December is relieved to find itself in a world so hospitable, so 

incandescent and ready for the greater light that’s coming as it always does 

in winter and the flawless California skies will hardly change 

and if they do it will be to let spill even more profusely 

the valuables raining from the smiling mouth 

of the king.

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