Thanksgiving Morning

It’s Thanksgiving morning
and I’m peeling apples for apple pie.
The smell of pumpkin
is coming from the oven
and soon it will wake someone,
the dog, perhaps.
It is dark – the moon is down
and the gentle intimation of dawn
is not even an eyelash in the east.

The earliest cooking is ginger,
cinnamon, nutmeg, clove –
the spices of family
and I cry a little
for those who are not here.

My hands are beautiful
where the knuckles have become old,
another kind of ginger root.

I pause for my most prosaic thanks –
freshly painted yellow walls,
sky without snow,
memories of my mother,
an apron all in harvest colors
made by the woman at church
whose husband is so conservative,
and still so much my friend,
the kindness and lucent beauty
of strangers in the grocery store,
looking for mince meat,

the way these details are picked out
in this last ordinary time –
precious before the bright brass
and minor key of Advent,

how the curl of apple peel
falling loose and red,
becomes a manger, a cross.

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4 Responses to Thanksgiving Morning

  1. 1st@Nation says:

    Hope you had a very Happy Thanksgiving. Your words had lots of familiar and well-loved illusions for Canadian Thanksgiving as well. That’s the one meal when the Haudenosaunee “Three Sisters” (Maize, beans, squash/pumpkin) are sure to make an appearance on the table together. Many blessings.

    • Maren says:

      It was very happy — those three appeared on my menu. In my teaching English language learners I have been explaining the three sisters and whoever the people are — from Bhutan or Colombia or Albania — there is some similar connectiveness in growing while in the “modern” era — even my Iowa childhood — the one crop destruction of the first is paramount.

  2. Hope you had a truly Happy Thanksgiving day, Maren. Your words have lots of familiar and well-loved illusions to Canadian Thanksgiving also. It’s the one meal when the Haudenosaunee “Three Sisters” (maize, beans, squash/pumpkin) are sure to make an appearance on the table together. Many blessings

  3. Pat Parnell says:

    Maren, you poem is a beatiful introduction to this holy holiday season. Happy Hanukkah to all.
    Pat.

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