There is much to be thankful for. Dogs. And cats. Friends and family. And the little chutzpah-filled hummingbird who comes to the feeder in the breezeway. But not both feeders equally. He sticks to the one on the right until he greedily sucks it dry, then reluctantly goes to the one on the left, even though I’ve switched the feeders. It must be the location. Or maybe it’s just that he’s a Republican. And flowers and trees and sky and shrubbery of all sorts. And cactus. But be careful of the kind with white fuzzy looking “hair” on it. It isn’t hair, it’s tiny spines that will break off inside your skin and cause you no end of problems. And crows. They gather every day in the tall eucalyptus and mutter and spread vicious rumors about the seagulls who often show up too, looking for kibble. The seagulls pay them no mind. Seagulls are impervious to insult. I mean, look at their ridiculous yellow flappy feet. It takes a being of insult-imperviously strong character to go through life with feet like that.
I hope you’ll have a happy Thanksgiving. And, if you already haven’t done so, one day I hope you’ll consider having a Thanksgiving without killing a turkey. As a sort of discipline and remembrance that there’s enough killing and death in the world without having to add another turkey to the list. It's an instructive that it’s possible to have a fine feast without a death. Except for dead vegetables, that is. A meatless Thanksgiving can also be a way of reminding ourselves that without being mindful of such things, we run the risk of become Sarah Palin, on camera and mindlessly yakking on and on and on about absolutely nothing while behind her a hapless turkey is suspended upside down in the killing cone patiently waiting for it’s neck to be slit, and even when it finally is it takes forever to quit twitching and so it hangs there forever with Palin’s purile nattering, prattling nasal whine going on and on and on and on the last thing the poor thing hears on this precious earth. You betcha!
Waterboarding couldn’t possibly be as grim a death as that.
A Thanksgiving Poem
“Late September” by Ted Kooser, from “Sure Signs, new and selected poems”
Behind each garage a ladder
sleeps in the leaves, its hands
folded across its lean belly.
There are hundreds of them
in each town, and more
sleeping by haystacks and barns
out in the country – tough old
day laborers, seasoned and wheezy,
drunk on the weather,
sleeping outside with the crickets.