Improv on Deuteronomy 26, for US Thanksgiving

(for so many of my friends, some with and some without documents)

When you come to the land
where God is calling you
to settle in
and find an apartment
and a job and a complicated new language,
while your tongue still tastes
the sweet old words,

you shall take some of your
new fruit –
your child’s school pictures,
copy of your green card, Red sox cap,
the sad news in the letter from your sister,
your first autumn leaves, first mittens —
and put them in a basket
woven of your memories.

And you shall make this response …
“A wandering immigrant was my ancestor –
Somali, Bhutanese, Indonesian, Hmong,
Dominican, Haitian, Sudanese,
Mexican, Irish, Italian, Iraqi, Scot,
Albanian, Lebanese …

and there was war
and affliction, fear and hunger,
and God brought us out
on a long and hard and manna-ed way
to this strange land of turkey and stuffing,
Facebook and text messaging,
EZPass and the ICE at the door …”

And you shall set down your baskets
in their different sizes and shapes and colors,
but full of the same gifts,
full of really the same precious gifts,
and look at one another –

all resident aliens and all neighbors,
all the celebrators of the bounty God gives us –
the land and the blessing, the signs and the songs,
wonder, and may-it-be, may-it-be,
an outstretched hand.

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4 Responses to Improv on Deuteronomy 26, for US Thanksgiving

  1. Joyce Ray says:

    Thank you, Maren. May it be so. This poem will be part of our Thanksgiving gathering.

  2. Marjorie MacNeill says:

    This is wonderful, Maren. Thank you!! Marjorie

    Sent from my iPhone


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