A poem by Laurie Kuntz: “Kansha Sai – That’s Japanese for Thanksgiving.”
That’s Japanese for Thanksgiving,
“the festival of gratitude,”
and here I am in Japan at the end of November, alone, giving thanks.
It was a poet who said “Alone is a stone,”
but today the stones are shimmering under a fading fall sun,
and to be alone allows the landscape of memory
to stir under this wizened sky.
My son was once afraid of the sky,
he never wanted to look up
thinking he would be swallowed.
Today, I am thankful,
he has gotten over that fear.
Thankful for much on this day,
when bombs are going off elsewhere.
But, there are always bombs going off,
and we carry our own inner grenades,
waiting to explode into a sullen sky.
Yet, I remain grateful: for sons, for stones that shimmer,
for an ebbing autumn,
knowing that alone I am together
with so many who are like scattered seeds
ripening into buds and waiting to bloom in all the places I am not.
Poem and illustration by Laurie Kuntz