More Than Thanks

When I looked out the window this morning,
the cat looked with me and mewed.
Leaves bustled everywhere and a squirrel
jumped from a high limb to the neighboring tree.

"It's Thanksgiving, you see,"
I said to the cat, who mewed again.
Either her voice or the realization
made me think of my grandmother's cat.

My grandmother had seven children.
They all married, save one. Some
married twice. Bucketfuls of grandchildren
and barrels of memories washed over me.

I give thanks daily for my simple life
and all the good that comes my way;
but I have learned a different lesson
as I age: thanks alone is not enough.

Ancestry aside, if I squander that 
which has been gifted me, being grateful
means little. So, I set to work, 
cleaned the dishes, prepared the food, 

paid the bills.Tomorrow I will wash clothes, 
make the bed, send a note of gratitude,
change the litter box again. Then, I said, 
I will try my best at everything else.

The cat mewed. Outside, wind warned the squirrel
about life's fleeting nature, about how important 
it is to get those ducks lined up in little
Martha Stewart rows. The thankful rodent, believing,

ran down the tree trunk, right into 
the jaws of the hungry coyote.

Thanksgiving? mused my prose-loving cat, 
who often knows me better than I know myself.
"Don't be a wise-ass," I say.
"Poetry is supposed to be profound."

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