The Shit I’m Thankful For: A Poem

What am I thankful for?? Well, first let me tell you what I’m not thankful for, and that’s posting the day after Jennifer, because everything she wrote about public displays of gratitude, saturating Thanksgiving meals with bourbon, and warmly thanking everyone she loves had me going, “Oh, yeah.” “Yup.” “Yep, that, too.” So I apologize in advance for doing exactly what Jennifer did, only not so wittily nor so well.

No, wait — hold on a sec. I’ve changed my mind. I’m not going to do exactly what Jennifer did. I’m going to do exactly what Jennifer did, only in rhyming couplets. Ha! Take that, Jennifer!!


Shitty kitten

I’m sitting in my kitchen and beside me is a kitten
With a tiny clump of shit caught in her tail.
You’d think that she would clean it, but she doesn’t seem to see it
It’s disgusting, and a total grooming fail.

We are like that kitten! If you’d care to have a listen,
I will tell you all exactly what I mean.
There are dreamers, there are doers, there are groomers, there are poo-ers,
But none of us is ever really clean.

This is not a problem, and this poem is not a lesson
In how to clean the shit off of your tail.
You should wear that shit, and proudly! You should talk about it loudly!
You should purr and prance and decorate your fail!

Because it’s all about the journey, and staying off the gurney
For every single moment that we can.
And the journey’s never worthy–never lived, and never earthy–
Unless the shit has sometimes hit the fan.

Friends who laugh at shit


This poem is for the people who will let me sit beside them
Even on the days I’m caked in shit:
My father and my mother and my sister and my lover
And my friends who always help me laugh at it,

My daughter and my son and the dog who loves to run
And the other dog who’d rather stay and sleep,
The writers who have made it and the writers who await it
Who helped me when my pages made me weep.


Shit scooper. Decorated with shit.

When you eat your turkey dinner with all your favorite sinners
Whether I am sitting there or not,
Know that I am grateful as I eat my heaping plateful
That you are all the people that I got.

And if there comes a time in our intertwining lives
When you find you’re in a clump or two of poop,
Unlike the filthy kitten who’s beshittened in my kitchen
I will be there with a bucket and a scoop.


Author: Heather Young

After a decade practicing law and another decade raising kids, Heather decided to finally write the novel she'd always talked about writing. She holds an MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars, and is an alumnus of the Squaw Valley Writers Workshop and the Tin House Writers Workshop, all of which helped her stop writing like a lawyer. She lives in Mill Valley, California, with her husband and two teenaged children. When she's not writing she's biking, hiking, neglecting potted plants, and reading books by other people that she wishes she'd written.

7 Replies to “The Shit I’m Thankful For: A Poem”

  1. Heather, you made me laugh for sure! OMG, this is happening in my house …the shit that comes with my son’s cat is something I never knew could happen…. those golf balls are an eye opener. And my little rascal dog Wally has left his share….so yes its life and I am thankful ! Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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