thanksgiving on the prairie

gold-bleached grasses bend
in the wind while ice frosts
the slender fingers of every
black-barked tree. the cedar scrubs
loom dark against the bronzed
broken cornstalks and red-berried bushes;
the geese hunt there for forgotten corn
while the crows stalk stiffly down the field rows.
from the naked arms of a cottonwood
a red-tailed hawk silently watches his prey; this is thanksgiving.
only those who were raised on the prairie
can appreciate its beauty, my father says
i search the hundred shades of rose and brown
witness the intricate interplay of texture and hue
beneath those hazy gray skies
and would not wish to be
anywhere else in the world.