Poets.org, the web site of The Academy of American Poets, has some suggestions for words you might consider adding to your Thanksgiving Day traditions.
“Perhaps the World Ends Here,” by current U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo starts things out.
The world begins at a kitchen
table. No matter what, we
must eat to live.
The gifts of earth are brought
and prepared, set on the
table. So it has been since
creation, and it will go on.
It is easy, reading her words, to imagine Native American wisdom traditions from the people of her Mvskoke/Creek Nation coursing through this poem. And no doubt that is there.
But there is more. She is the U.S. Poet Laureate. She speaks for herself, she describes the world she experiences. And she shares that with all of us, and illuminates the America we all share.
This poem grows from her life, her experience, which enfolds–and is enfolded by–her people. That is true of each of us when we set down our words. Her poem gives each of us a space to sit and reflect. Traditions are made of decisions, lives are made of moments, cultures are made of families, and communities are made of commonplace commonalities.