I pulled a roasted turkey from under my coat,
a bowl of gravy too;
the mashed potatoes slid down one sleeve,
candied yams down the other;
rolls and cranberries came out of pockets,
a veggie casserole from under my sweater.
The pies—there were three—I kept hidden for later,
tight beneath my hat.
So please, Mr. Gun-man
with all your rage and your whispers and doubts,
don’t kill us, we don’t want to die just yet—not yet.
Listen: I am your brother
and I love you with all the depth and breadth
of everything I have to offer.
So please, sit and eat, before you do something
I know I already regret.
The world is rife with worries and terrors. But within the United States, the situation is aggravated by the fact that it is so easy—too easy— to legally obtain a high caliber, fully automatic weapon with a large magazine. All in the name of logic-defying ideology. Recent years, and in particular, recent months, have seen too many incidents of senseless, public mass murder. I am learning that the only way to hold onto my humanity and not fall into a well of despair is to strive to develop a sense of compassion for the ones who feel driven to do such awful deeds.
Given that we will soon be celebrating Thanksgiving Day—in the United States the most family-oriented holiday of the year—I thought a poem summing up my thoughts would be timely. I hope you like it.
Thank you for reading Thanksgiving Day blues, the title of which is an homage to Auden’s Funeral Blues. I humbly appreciate your visiting the Book of Pain, and as always, I look forward to your comments.
The image is Norman Rockwell’s iconic Freedom From Want. To see my photography blog, please visit the Book of Bokeh.
Poem and notes © John Etheridge; all rights reserved. The poem and accompanying notes are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License. The attribution claimed under the license is: © John Etheridge, https://bookofpain.wordpress.com.