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A poem of gratitude from Oklahoma

We are grateful for okla-humma, for our people, for this earth.

for the swarm after the tornado of helping aliens
for those who smell of oil, diesel, dirt, sweat

for poets, musicians, artists and quilters
for ballerinas, pearls and sculptors

for thirty-nine tribes and the wisdom they share
for those who ran to a bombed building

for our stubborn refusal to give up or give in
for dust bin survivors, for those who resist

for the way we started to face
historical acts of hatred and violence

for our desire to kiss each other,
arms tied, songs rise, hearts full

– This poem is a very shortened version of one written by 123 Oklahomans, then collected and arranged by Jeanetta Calhoun Mish, the Poet Laureate from Oklahoma

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