For the Thanksgiving holiday, instead of thoughts on writing I offer something I wrote: a free verse poem based on an actual event. Our family sometimes uses it as our Thanksgiving grace.
We recite a grace and the ritual meal begins.
My little daughter hops and flits
Among parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, siblings, cousins, and pets
Feasting on love, company, and attention
While her plate goes untouched
Except for cranberry sauce and a bite of pumpkin pie.
My daughter awakes, sobbing and screaming, long past midnight.
“Mommy, my tummy is so hungry it HURTS!”
I reassure her, quiet her, lead her to the kitchen
for yogurt and leftovers.
As I watch her eat, I think of mothers
throughout history and throughout the world
Whose children cry out from hunger in the night
And they have nothing to give them.
I bow my head and breathe a heartfelt prayer of Thanksgiving.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! What are you thankful for as a writer, or in any other part of your life?
For international readers unfamiliar with the holiday: The traditional American Thanksgiving celebration includes family and friends coming together for a larger-than-usual meal featuring roast turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie. It’s a U.S. federal holiday with religious roots, in that it recalls a Thanksgiving celebrated by Calvinist Christian pilgrims in Plimouth, Massachusetts in the 1600s. In practice, Thanksgiving is observed by people of many religions, and by people who observe it as a secular tradition.