A Poem of Gratitude From Nebraska

I am thankful for friends,

for the palette of Nebraska

sunsets, for my family,

still alive, thank God,

thank the Med Center (UNMC)

who’s held back this flood

(so far)

despite my elected representatives’ best

negligence, thankful

for my Hawaiian-print face mask, for this

red sofa I commute to for work,

thankful not to

work at UNMC, at a middle school,

a rural highway packing plant,

Harley dealership in the Sand Hills,

which means I am thankful,

horribly, for the

luck of this landing,

for the bullet

that hits next to me,

the guilt

walking with me

in this wide sky silence,

following every step.

— Matt Mason, state poet of Nebraska

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