A poem, to be read on Thanksgiving
A few years ago, I went searching for the ultimate Thanksgiving poem. I turned up lots of worthy renderings. I have since posted quite a few of these on Indybikehiker. But nothing that year spoke to or from what I was feeling at the time. So, here's the result of my attempt, not at the ultimate Thanksgiving poem, but to express what was--and is--in my heart as we approach this holiday.
Thanksgiving doesn't live in a vacuum;
We do not pluck it from thin air.
We cannot be grateful on command,
Genuflecting at the drop of hat.
Talk is cheap when it comes to thanking.
Yet beyond courteous etiquette
Lies a deeper reality that beckons,
Inviting us to reckon with grace.
Native American graciousness
And Pilgrim hospitality,
Turkey and all the trimmings point
Beyond finely folded, praying hands.
Through and beyond these images
We glimpse a sacred connection,
As generations across time
Hail some gracious provision.
It’s not so much a debt we owe
Or tribute for posterity
As it is a virtue we receive
And reflect into eternity.
We deep-down know we are held
By sustaining, life-giving hands.
Not our own or on our own,
We belong and are lovingly known.
We cannot utter such mystery;
Tradition and rite fall short.
But these, and we, can point and say
“Thanks” for life and grace today.
John Franklin Hay
Indianapolis, Indiana, USA