bitter thanksgiving poemAll Poetry

A Bitter Thanksgiving [a poem]

Many of you may recall having read these lines from past Thanksgivings; it is a retelling of a visit I had with one of my patients during this time of year—a woman whose life and struggles were unlike mine in many ways, but who nevertheless taught me many things about courage and integrity.

I hope you enjoy these words, and have a blessed Thanksgiving week.


Allow me to spin upon the spindle
a tale of an encounter true.
A patient once, a homeless mum,
her words now recounted for you:

The hour of autumn arrives anew
when mirth and feasts abound.
But let me confess my days to you,
true gifts which have been found…

The steady cadence of my heart,
voice to praise when souls fall dark,
vision to behold each fresh day’s start-
For this, I am thankful.

The assured exhale of every breath,
joys gone by, its memories kept,
cloth to shield from winter’s death-
For this, I am thankful

Days when I can veil my cries,
days I look you in the eyes,

to know on night lies brighter skies-
For this, I am thankful.

So for this…I am thankful.

Phoebe Chi, MD
Phoebe Chi, MD

A physician-educator and managing editor of PhoebeMD: Health + Inspiration, Dr. Chi aims to inspire, inform, and empower the reader community. She is the author of Being Empowered for a Healthy Heart: A personal guide to taking control of your health while living with chronic conditions, a poetry-infused health guide, and founder of Pendants for a Cause, a nonprofit organization with the purpose of raising funds to fight illness, provide care, and bring awareness to medically vulnerable populations around the world.

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83 replies »

  1. This was very inspirational to me. It led me to have the confidence to make my first official blog post. Thank you. I hope my blog becomes a remarkable success like yours. Many blessings to you infinity times. Have an outstanding 2020!

  2. “Strong sentiments PC… and royally delivered – repetition (ending) makes it hit home, and hard – well done.”

  3. Beautiful! I’m thankful for the freedoms we have: physical, mental and spiritual. As a human race we need to think of those who either don’t have these freedoms or those who feel they don’t have them. I know I don’t do enough. It’s so easy for us to pass by each hour and day without much thought of others, but this is a special time for us to pause and think about others – and be thankful. Thanksgiving can include the world and not just the U.S.A.

  4. I’ve just discovered your blog through your follow of mine. This is so beautiful! You express deep thoughts in a lyrical way which captures the heart perfectly.

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