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Roger Biehn

Honorable Mention: 2016 Utmost Christian Poetry Contest $100

About this Poet:
I've always had a fascination with literature and enjoyed writing from time to time, although I have not ultimately pursued a writing career. My day job is being the controller for a farm equipment dealership and I make time to write when I can. Currently I am pursuing my interest in the prophet Jeremiah with some further reading and study, as well as enjoying the underappreciated art of the essay (in my reading). I live with my wife Becky and our two-year-old (and very busy) daughter.

About this Poem:
This poem's title is a somewhat tongue-in-cheek reference to the fact that USA and Canada celebrate Thanksgiving at different times. The conditions which serve as a jumping-off point occur in late November rather than early to mid-October (the time of Canadian thanksgiving). The changing seasons and migrations become a source for meditation on the Christian life and our ultimate destination and meaning.

American Thanksgiving
(Hebrews 11:13-16)

Branches, black bones of November
damp against putty sky;
maple, basswood, poplar, ash;
bleak sisterhood against the whisper
tasted, of cold, of snow.
Heaven’s refugees evacuate, strident in angles;
songbird, starling, grackle, goose;
waiting, clustered velvet on barren
maple fingers or queued upon
hydro-electric cables watching
the road or the stubble-strewn fields,
witticisms growing frantic
before spreading their shield before the sun
or razor-like splitting the sky;
strangers and exiles on the wing, inhaling and
exhaling some promise not yet received.
To a greener lighter feast on
forest, plain, island, coast
perhaps I too should flee:
instead of lingering here in damp,
sullen winds, with my freezer lid
closed against the flurry of a
white Christmas, my ripened stacks
of wood meekly awaiting, my snowblower
augers starving on the concrete, my winter
Bridgestones on their wheels:
or am I bravely holding out for homecoming?
for the first robin duelling
its reflection on the basement window?
for the errant toad awakened springing
across my empty garage,
strange and exiled on the cement?
to a better country, the prepared place
some glad morning I’ll fly.

Copyright ©2016 Roger Biehn