Pilgrims at the Table
I understand that on the first Thanksgiving
there was no meal between Pilgrims and Indians,
there was no peaceful gathering around a turkey
or anything in particular having to do with corn,
but rather, John Winthrop’s declaration of a
“day of thanksgiving” when he received the news
that 700 Pequot Indians had been massacred
during a mercenary midnight raid.
And so on this Thanksgiving I must divorce
myself from the history of it, the reframing
or re-mix narrative that has come down to us
from the days we were children as pure jingoistic
propaganda, and instead, because I don’t watch
sports, I will share some food and drink with my family
and give thanks for that and for the privilege I enjoy
but mostly did not earn, and I will try not to feel
guilty and I will try not to eat or drink too much.
Our mothers are still alive and our son is healthy
and we want for nothing. There is much to be thankful for,
after all, even without the Pilgrims at the table.