Poem of the Week: Thanksgiving

Calder Lowe
Modesto California Branch


Hurling himself against the confines
of the picket fence, the chained dog yelps,
its cry piercing my car windows at the stop light.

The house is in disrepair and I already know
that dog is beaten, that woman slumped
in the chair on the deck is beaten.

The peeling wooden planks on the exterior
are no fortress against the drunken man
stumbling up the rotting stairs to the door,

his lined face long stamped with resignation,
his fists already clenched in rage.
I beseech the incoming fog to blanket them all

with a modicum of grace, a respite from the despair
of circumstance, imminent storms.
Mostly, I want the dog to curl up in front of a fire,

his paws outstretched in thanksgiving
for one day unmarred by kicks to his spine,
one day of a full belly, one day of impenetrable calm.



  1. whoa! This is a powerful poem!

  2. Charlene Hampton Holloway says:

    This is a great writing that reminds all of us to be Thankful at this Thanksgiving season.

  3. Leslie Bosher says:

    You say the words in poetry that we often think. You are so talented!

  4. So much contained in these few stanzas. Brilliant!

  5. Judi MacLean says:

    This is incredibly moving. Each word is perfectly placed.

  6. Carole Mertz says:

    This poem touched me deeply. It is a poignant cry for humanity to care. The injustice portrayed made me react so strongly that I went into my own rage. Would that there were a fog immersive enough to wipe away the madness and heal the suffering. God hands us unlimited grace, if only we are receptive enough to simply receive it. Thank you, Calder, for the beauty and pain of this poem.

  7. Christine Horner says:

    THANK YOU, Calder. for “Thanksgiving”!
    . A finely wrought, cast iron jab at my heart. “Mostly…the dog.

    Christine Horner, Diablo/Alameda Branch

  8. Bev Goldie says:

    As a visual artist, I can imagine the house, dog, woman and husband you describe. As a person who has lived with a loved one challenged with substance abuse, my heart cries out for them. I feel your visceral plea for us to empathize with those living in this pitiful situation. We should all feel thankful for our blessings, no matter how simple. Thank you for reminding us to do so.