We give thanks ---
For red cardinals that appear
For violets, pristine and tender,
And tall white oaks
The weight of midwestern winds
Moving across the prairie
For the kiss of the Great Lake
Michigan, on a Big Chicago, bodacious and bursting
Thanks for the lakes and rivers that flow through
A state of dreams and blood and tears,
Thin rivers of toil that lace the land
And a Big River, Mississippi,
Thanks for mid-cities churning industry
For rural places poised on tractors
Peopled with all kinds
Of people ---
In the Land of Lincoln
Lifting Freedom, Union, yes
We pray for each other
In all our heartbreaks.
We give thanks
For family, for dear ones,
For “I love you”
Written on the red wings of cardinals,
On the sweet petals of violets,
On the strong brown branches of oaks.
We give thanks,
Thanks and thanks.
Illinois Poet Laureate
This original poem ‘Giving Thanks’ was included in a New York Times article on November 26, 2020. It was Angela’s first poem as Illinois Poet Laureate.