Thursday, November 24, 2016


I'm usually asked to write a poem for the family gathering whenever Dr. M and I are able to be in NC for Thanksgiving. This year's poem was extra hard to write, as one might imagine. But it's done, and since I'm scheduling this to post during our meal, I am most likely eating corn pudding and pecan pie right this very minute. And I think that makes up for a lot of the hard things that have happened during 2016, don't you?

You may not know it,
But I have vicissitudes.
I hope it’s not chronic,
But it’s a pretty serious case,
These vicissitudes.

And my plate is full
Of things I’d rather not eat:
Bitterness, despair, anxiety, and Brussels sprouts
I blame those vicissitudes.

I’m looking back at the arc
Of this year and trying to find
A morsel of thanks be to God.

Was it in April when we lost Amy?
Was it in July when Mike became unemployed?
Was it this month, when Brandon shipped out,
My priest resigned,
And my candidate didn’t win the election?

Yes, yes it was.
Thanks be to God was there
On those days and all the others
Where there was joy and grief
And spreadsheets and the World Series
And your hand in mine in this circle.

You know how vicissitudes work, don’t you?
Picture a leaf, tumbling in the wind.
It goes down and up, around and around
Until it settles into
The cupped hand
Of God.

Let us Bless the Lord!
(and the people said): Thanks Be To God!

Dana W. Rhyne
Thanksgiving, 2016

Lake Cumberland Resort State Park
Dr. M & I startled a flock of wild turkeys - you can just barely make out the last of them, beyond the tree with the shadow, as they fled down the hill.


  1. Pudding and pie may right a few things, but you definitely had a challenging year. May next year be...well, less challenging. Happy Thanksgiving to you and Mike!

  2. I had two areas on my neck and nose that were deemed precancerous by the dermatologist. So she sprayed them and burned them off a couple of weeks ago. Now there are only remnants to heal. I am alive, I ate dinner and I enjoyed an online visit with my longtime Blogging/FB friend, Dana. Thanks be to God indeed. There are always worse things.

  3. You have much more to be thankful for than not.

  4. I likes my vicissitudes fried, thank you very much -- but the doctor says they're not good for me that way, so I'll take them straight, and still say, "Thanks be to God!"

  5. Your reflections are heartfelt. You've had a tough year. I'm hoping that 2017 has many good things in store for you.

  6. I hope this finds you and yours doing well. May we display your header on our new site directory? As it is now, the site title (linked back to its home page) is listed, and we think displaying the header will attract more attention. In any event, we hope you will come by and see what is going on at

  7. Thanks for sharing such a thoughtful poem. Hope you had a terrific Thanksgiving.


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