Leonard Kress

Thanksgiving Meditation

Forget the shining city on the hill, or the new
Jerusalem, Eden, Promised Land—you’re reading from
the wrong text, wrong translation, the non-canonical
source, the exquisite forgery stuffed in the turkey-
shaped urn. This is what the disembarking Pilgrims found:
a place of Briars and Thorns, of Troubles and Sorrows,
Valley of the Shadow of Death, where God is no more
a cause of our sin than the sun of a Dunghill’s stench.
Life is indeed strenuous, but the more desperate
the situation, then the more actions it evokes.
we are like soldiers landed in a hostile country
whose commander has burned their ships behind them and told
them to eat up their enemies or drink up the sea.

Leonard Kress has published poetry and fiction in Massachusetts Review, Iowa Review, Crab Orchard Review, American Poetry Review, Harvard Review, etc. His recent collections are The Orpheus Complex, Living in the Candy Store, and Braids & Other Sestinas. He teaches philosophy, religion, and creative writing at Owens College in Ohio and serves as fiction editor for Artful Dodge.