I cannot actually write about US Thanksgiving, 2019, now because it’s just Monday!! but I can reflect poetically on a year past as I do below.
As for prose, I think about how this holiday is, on the one hand, harvest — an end to the fall, but also so close this year to Advent that Christmas has been nudging its way in for a couple weeks already before we have properly experienced the sweetness of this pause. Yes, it is sweet whether it is Norman Rockwell or the revision of that iconic painting by Hank Willis Thomas and others who followed, or the Macy’s Day parade and football, or the loneliness of feeling that everyone else in the world has somewhere wonderful to go, or the injustice which is retail workers being asked to do the Black Friday early, early shift. Thanksgiving comes to us all, every year — the sad years and the happy ones.
I am thankful for you, readers and wish you blessings and thanks whatever your country, your custom, for turning thinking into thanking. Maren
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
even as the knuckles become older,
another kind of ginger root.
I pause for my most prosaic thanks –
freshly painted yellow walls,
sky without snow
so a frail friend can visit,
a bib apron all in harvest colors
from a church fair, of course,
the kindness and lucent beauty
of even strangers in the grocery store,
looking for mince meat
or fried onion rings
to put on the green beans,
the way these details are picked out
in this last ordinary time –
precious before the bright brass
and minor key of Advent,
and how this curl of apple peel
falling loose and red,
becomes a manger,
and, as the year turns,
a Pentecost flame,
some loves and losses
and bright autumn leaves again.