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The only poem you’ll need when Thursday arrives




Lenore Skenazy

Lenore Skenazy

The Pilgrims came here, wearing shoes

With buckles big as honeydews.

Or maybe the buckles were on their hats

Or on their belts. Well, anyway, that’s

Not really why we celebrate.

It’s because of religious freedom … or … wait.

I know! It is because of Squanto,

The only local — not counting Tonto —

Whose name we remember and revere

That doesn’t end with blah, blah, “Deer.”

Or “Bull,” of course.

Or “Mohegan Sun.” Or “Horse.”

But anyway, after a winter of almost no food,

The few scrawny Pilgrims were in a bad mood.

Seeing them starving, Squanto took pity.

(So why didn’t we ever name a city

After him or his tribe, the way we did with Massapequa?

A name you could spell wrong for a weeka

And no one would notice?) But … as I was saying:

Squanto taught the Pilgrims the secret of laying

Dead fish in the ground next to their seeds,

Which made their scraggly crops grow like weeds.

And so by the fall of 1620-somethin’ ,

There was so much corn and pre-Libby’s pumpkin

That the Pilgrims cried, “Let’s party, pronto!

We’ll give thanks to God and what’s-his-name, Squanto.”

So the Pilgrims threw a threeday feast

Attended by Indians and inlaws and friends without anywhere to go and smug vegan cousins and I guess one turkey, at least,

Because somehow that bird became the big deal

Around which we organize this historical meal,

A meal so filling no one has room for pies of pecans

Except the vegans.

And that is why on this special day,

We, too, must stop to pray

And give thanks to those Pilgrims with their collars so lacy

And high-school bands and R.H. Macy

And Santa, always holly-jolly

And also to my agent, Mollie.

Bosses, too, come in for celebration,

Provided they give us a two-day vacation.

Thank you, too, Native Americans so kind,

Whom, alas, our forefathers robbed blind.

And thank you, God, for all we’ve got,

Which, usually when you stop to think about it, is really a lot.

Lenore Skenazy is the author of “Free-Range Kids: How to Raise Safe, Self-Reliant Children (Without Going Nuts with Worry)” and “Who’s the Blonde That Married What’s-His-Name? The Ultimate Tip-of-the-Tongue Test of Everything You Know You Know — But Can’t Remember Right Now.”

©2013 Creators


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