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The main chapel is full. The overflow is full. People crowd the lobby and spill out the door into the parking lot. They are in suits, jeans and t-shirt, overalls, sports jerseys, dresses, skirts. Up front, a casket sits open—a sixteen year old boy lays as still as I have ever seen him. His father wracks with sobs. Kenny Chesney pours through the speakers.

As the music ends, our football coach steps to the podium. The aisles between the rows of chairs are full of kneeling football players. “Our mantra—these boys have heard it hundreds of times—is ‘we, not me’.” He clears his throat, “and that is how we will get through this.’

We have lost 3 students to two separate wrecks in the last five days. Today was the first of three funerals I will attend before Sunday. At least the ones I know of, at this point. Over 500 people were there today. The latest wreck happened last night.

You never know when time is up. You never know what might happen next. You never know when you are seeing someone for the last time. Our world turns fast.

A few weeks back, we lost one of our poets. Libithinia. I miss her comments. She always made me smile with what she wrote at my place. She was always generous in giving out love to other poets.

After events such as the ones we have just faced here at school, it is great to reflect on the things we are thankful for. It seems apropo that Thanksgiving is upon us in the States.

Another of our poets, Laura, has an annual project that i have participated in previously and in this years as well. In her words, ‘The Mega Mobius Gratitude Quilt was an idea born in November of 2009 when I had an MS exacerbation that made it difficult for me to communicate through words. I did not know at that time if proper syntax and missing words would return, but I wanted to write something for my Thanksgiving blog post, because I felt so deeply grateful for the goodness in my life.  I was concerned that I would not be able to write it myself, so I asked friends and family to be earth angels and help me out by sending me brief messages about what they were grateful for in the moment. Thus began an annual tradition, and thankfully speech and the ability to write returned not long after the first quilt was created. This year more than two hundred people came together to create the quilt with me! You can view the quilt on November 22nd, Thanksgiving Day in the United States by stopping by here.  Additional offerings are welcomed in the “leave a comment” box beneath the post.’

‘We, not me.’

We get through this life together. Besides poetry, that is what we celebrate. Life in verse & We are not in it alone. We are together.

Welcome back. Welcome for the first time. We have been here waiting just for you.

Welcome to OpenLinkNight, my name is Brian Miller and I am your host this evening. If you are new here, let me tell you how it works:

  • Link the poem you’d like to share–old or new, on any topic (one per blog, please) by clicking on the Mr.Linky button just below.
  • This opens a new screen where you’ll enter your information, and where you also choose links to read.
  • Once you have pasted your poem’s blog url and entered your name, simply click submit.
  • Let your readers know where you’re linking up and encourage them to participate by including a link to dVerse in your blog post.
  • Visit as many other poems as you like, commenting and liking as you see fit.
  • Spread the word on the social media of your choice
  • Enjoy mingling among others, tasting a bit of verse from around the world. Have fun. Make a friend.

See you out on the trail. ~Brian