How Many Thursdays In November?
“My voice as if I were my grandson”
I’m young – but I know
Sure – we all gather late in November
like the leaves beneath the maple.
I do – like all of you,
I bow my head, wondering….
what to be thankful for?
That is – beyond the here and now
I am thankful for my lacrosse team
We had a winning year – and my sister is doing
great at her swim meets
The war is still on
I am feeling sad about those
who left us…
Those sick, hungry,
even the man who strolls down
near my father’s office.
Will he eat enough this winter
Will he stay warm on the street?
Not shiver like limbs on a tree –
I am thankful for my family
friends – even school –
Even the roof above my head…
More people are out of work
my friend’s dad – he lost his job
they cut back on after school sports –
that, I am not thankful.
I overheard Grandmother
talk about Health Insurance
I hear that too – My father has his
And, every November I hear about
JFK – assassinated a few days
I think Oswald was a patsy
but my parent’s tell me to hush.
I counted names on a notebook;
a school project – ancestors –
most of my family died in November,
My Great Grandfather, he was stabbed
it was a cold and rainy day –
my Great Grandmother told him
to stay home, but it was payday… a Friday.
And it was the depression.
So here we are sitting to give thanks
Sure – next month at Christmas I will
be saying thanks to everyone.
Look at me, laughing out loud
I – shouldn’t.
Yes, I do have grandparents who love me.
Yes, I worry about things, but I have my family
and they’re not bad – they listen.
Look at us
barely fitting around this table –
Grandmother tells me it’s wonderful
being all together –
to be thankful.
Grandmother is like my Mother –
worried friends or relatives
won’t have enough to eat.
I hear the same thing every time
we sit at the table;
I also hear about too much butter
on the mashed potatoes.
Today, men were outside
raking leaves –
another one, blowing them onto
a neighbor’s property.
My little sister will be home soon
showing off her artwork –
Indians and Pilgrims
She will be wearing her Pilgrim Hat.
But this war lingers on –
men shipped home in coffins
buried with medals
honor guards standing near –
where were those guards
when men were stranded in a desert?
we never change –
like Grandmother inspecting the turkey
for a stray feather, the night before Thanksgiving.
What made me laugh
I had to hold my stomach –
the story my father told about
Grandmother, drinking spiked eggnog –
she was playing the piano –
he said, “No one smelled the turkey?”
Grandmother never turned on the oven…
She will never live it down.
So this year, and every day
I am thankful for living
because far too many young
men and women are not here –
Instead they are scattered on sand
carrying guns while trying to live.
How long must we say thanks
when far too many things aren’t right?
I think I am going to have to write
in another notebook.
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Click below to listen to “How Many Thursdays in November” by Nancy Denofio:
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