Our daughter, seven, labeled her thanks last year —
My Family, Kittens, Reading, School, and Friends —
on a silly-eyed construction-paper bird
she carried home, secure in every word
and the sturdiness of the world. It’s still here
on our fridge, one grateful-for per yellow feather.
Now eight, locked down, the only thanks she’ll give
is that “this year is nearly over.” We live
less certainly, watching hotspots and trends.
I add “our health,” and “that we’re here together.”
This poem originally appeared in The New York Times.
Chelsea Rathburn is the author of three full-length poetry collections, most recently Still Life with Mother and Knife, a New York Times “New & Noteworthy” book released by Louisiana State University Press in February 2019. Rathburn’s first full-length collection, The Shifting Line, won the 2005 Richard Wilbur Award, and her second collection, A Raft of Grief, was published by Autumn House Press in 2013. In March 2019, Rathburn was appointed poet laureate of Georgia