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Freedom from Want by Norman Rockwell

Thanksgiving has become as much about family getting together as it is about the turkey dinner and football. College students home for the break, grandparents coming in for the weekend, cousins and aunts and uncles fill the laden table. Edgar Guest's poem is a homey homily on enjoying the company of loved ones. His use of colloquial English makes us feel as welcome as any of the wanderers that find a chair at the old table.
 
Thanksgiving
Edgar  A. Guest

"Give me the end of the year an' its fun
When most of the plannin' an' toilin' is  done; 
Bring all the wanderers home to the nest,
Let me sit down with the ones I love best,
Hear the old voices still ringin' with song,
See the old faces unblemished by wrong,
See the old table with all of its chairs
An' I'll put soul in my Thanksgivin' prayers."

Note: My friend Robin Bates at Better Living Through Beowulf, tells me that at one point Edgar Guest was one of America's most known and loved poets. Unfortunately, unlike Norman Rockwell, whose paintings have taken on iconic status, he has faded from memory.
 
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Part of our traditional Thanksgiving gathering is a time of speaking thanks. If we give ourselves a few minutes, the list can become rather long. But it occurred to me that taking some extra time to be aware of what we're thankful for can be another way of enjoying those people, things, events, and insights that make our lives full. Sort of letting those things we're thankful for seep into our hearts and nourish us. The poem below explores that theme.

Thanksgiving poem

Let the thanks seep deep, deep down,
Like melted butter, steeped with thyme and lemon zest,
Now basted, gently soaks my turkey’s breast.

And let the thanks slow simmer up and out,
To work its way throughout your heart and mind
As rosemary, sea salt, onion, garlic rise, 
The stuffing in my roasting bird.

And when it flavors all you are,
Then serve your thanks around the table,
Nourishment, the joyful strength.

Share it with both friend and family,
In the flesh or only held in mind
(who also join from heaven’s realm)
United in the feast that’s set by grace
And seasoned with the love of God.