Thanksgiving greetings from the NAR staff & contributors Bill Graeser and Susan Kort


Have a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday from the staff here at the North American Review.

And thanks to Bill Graeser for his poem, "Thanksgiving", from issue 294.6, Nov. - Dec. 2009 and many thanks to Susan Kort for her poem, "Over the River & Through the Woods", from issue 292.6, Nov. - Dec. 2007, as well.


He’s thankful for SUVs
high enough to hide
like the night in the parking
lot when the cops came.

Thankful for what memories
he has of his father, that his
mother believed in
remaining strong, that his
kid sister is off the street,
that at least one of his
brothers will come up for
parole, and thankful that he
is not dead—what with
the ’Hood he grew up in
and two tours in Iraq.

He is thankful for rap,
for the Chicago Bulls,
for snow on filthy sidewalks,
and here at this table,
thankful that ketchup is
almost the color of
cranberry sauce, that french
fries mush in the mouth like
stuffing, thankful that he is
not an animal bred to be
dinner (though there’ve
been times he’s felt he was)
and thankful that he is not
the only one eating alone in
Burger King
on Thanksgiving.

Bill Graeser

Bill Graeser, a Long Island native, has worked as dairy farmer, carpenter, teacher of Transcendental Meditation and is currently the Locksmith at Maharishi University of Management, Fairfield, Iowa. Winner of Iowa Poetry Association's 2012 Norman Thomas Memorial Award.

"Over the River & Through the Woods"

To the left went the diapason
of forks, to the right
the spoons & knives in sterling, & in between came plates

that were appropriate, sequentially –
those were repasts she regaled us with, nothing less
than sumptuous, tureens & sauces & jellies & relishes: équipages

for butter & cream, grapish
épergnes in the center: her dining room
table: equinoctal feasts she counted on

familial esurience, it made her life
a thing of beauty, now & then, seeing all of us
in places she’d decreed were in right ones (on cards,

I mean, handletter’d, itsy violets & such, she had a lot of time) ;
& everything seemly. She hailed Mary
there’d be none of those gratuitous shenanigans

born of the vine, no espiritous implosions our kin were given to,
to her chagrin, no son’s head
laid to rest on her lineny cloth like my Daddy’s

every single year, impeding the serving
of the pumpkin or mince or Key lime:
Pièce de résistance

Susanne Kort is a psychotherapist practicing in Jalisco, Mexico. In the U.S., her poetry has appeared in the North American Review, Notre Dame Review, Grand Street, Green Mountains Review, Indiana Review, Seneca Review, Prairie Schooner, Sonora Review, The Laurel Review, and other journals. Her work has also been published in journals in Ireland, England and Canada.