‘Twas the night before Thanksgiving
And nobody made a peep,
But although I’d lain in bed for hours,
I couldn’t fall asleep.

A virus stormed my body
(Which one I cannot say)
And it threatened now to ruin
A great Thanksgiving Day.

As I lay in bed immobile,
A thought occurred to me:
I could count up all my blessings
Or drown in self-pity.

I seized upon the notebook
And the pen beside my bed,
And I quickly started writing
What came into my head.

One by one the thoughts they fell,
Like droplets in the rain,
And here is what just popped into
My fever-addled brain.

I’m thankful for my hearing
Which has always been pristine,
As well as for my eyesight
Which to this day’s still keen.

I have both my arms and both my legs,
Although the left knee’s creaky,
And my kidneys, heart and lungs are fine,
Though my migraines sure are sneaky.

I’m thankful I still have my hair
And that it still is brown.
(No, I’ve never colored it—
Let’s put that rumor down.)

I have my sense of humor,
Through all it’s stayed intact.
And I can think and reason
And tell fictional from fact.

I’m grateful I have lots of friends
Who challenge and support me;
Some I haven’t seen in quite some time,
Others I’ll see shortly.

I’m thankful for the windy days
Which let me fly a kite,
And chocolate chip cookies,
With chunks in every bite.

I’m glad that I can snowboard,
Though I’m certainly no shredder.
And I’m thankful too for bacon,
Which makes everything taste better.

I’m thankful for martinis,
Sudoku puzzles too,
And dogs and books and cheeses.
(Well, all of them but bleu.)

I’m thankful too for pizza,
For fries and onion rings,
For nachos, brats and burgers
And boneless Buffalo wings.

I’m thankful too for flowers and plants,
Although I cannot grow them,
And my speaker friends in NSA;
I’m really glad I know them.

I’m grateful for my teachers
And my coaches then and now
Who’ve honed my mind and speaking skills
So I can move a crowd.

I’m glad that I can educate,
Encourage and inspire
Audiences throughout the world
To send their sales higher.

I’m grateful for my family
Who love me through and through,
And odds are, if you’re reading this
I’m grateful for you too.

I’m glad I have a place to live
And a real cool car to drive.
Above all else, perhaps, I’m thankful
That I’m still alive.

I looked down at my list and saw
I’d written several pages.
I hadn’t stopped to appreciate
Some of these things in ages.

I could have kept on going,
But with one last final cough,
My pen slipped from my fingers
And I finally dozed off.

I hope I gave you pause to think.
I hope I made you laugh.
May you have much to be thankful for
And thankful for what you have.

Don Cooper
Thanksgiving Eve, 2008