Poets' Corner, Thanksgiving: Rosemerry On Pies & Gratitude
On October 3, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln declared the final Thursday of November to be the national holiday of Thanksgiving, which evolved into a story of traditions old and new, a day of family, feasting, and football. And all that is good, but is it good enough? Shouldn’t Thanksgiving be about more than that, a day to forget about the headlines and simply count our blessings for the bounty in our lives? The following poems by Word Woman Rosemerry Trommer put the “thanks” back in Thanksgiving. And, according to an article in Time Magazine, “being thankful is strongly linked with both mental and physical health – and can help relieve stress, depression, and addiction, among other conditions.” Jess sayin…
Making Apple Pies with My Mother
We begin by talking for an hour
about the kids, her church, dad’s health,
and how we both cry when we see acts of kindness.
We clean the kitchen. Address one mess
before starting the next. Then we peel apples,
marvel at their size—how much larger
they must be than in the time of Fanny Farmer,
who thinks we might need eight tart apples
for our nine-inch crust. Fanny,
even a hundred years later,
you are still synonymous with precision,
organization and good food. And, as I recall,
you, too, practiced your art in your mother’s kitchen.
As it is, seven apples in 2018 are enough
to fill two generous crusts. Oh Fanny,
some things have changed, for instance
this Granny Smith, large as my fist. But some things
are exactly the same. A level teaspoon
is still a level teaspoon. The simplest recipes
are still often the best. And it’s still so good
to make a pie with your mother, talking
about all of life’s loose ends, measuring sugar,
filling the crusts, then cleaning up the mess
as the scent of sweetness touches everything.
To be grateful not only for flower,
but also for mud, grime,
slug, slime, the dingy,
the filthy, the tired,
to be grateful not only for star
but also for what is prickly, thornsome,
tricky, testy, sore,
to be grateful not only for warmth
but also for the cold that holds it,
the chill, the bite, the nip, the freeze,
the breeze that blows always head on.
To not only say thanks, but live it.
To not only know thanks, but give it.