Wednesday, November 27, 2019

An Occasional Speech at the Interfaith Thanksgiving Gathering by Grace Paley

An Occasional Speech at the Interfaith Thanksgiving Gathering
Anyone who gets to be
eighty years old says thank you
to the One in charge then im-
mediately begins to complain    why
were these years such a historical
mess    why was my happiness
and willing gratitude interfered with
every single decade    no sooner
where the normal spats with parents
lovers children ended than the
interfering greed of total strangers
probably eighty years old as well
and full of their own bloated thank-
fulness at unbelievable success in
the expropriation of what belonged
to other people and peoples not
to mention the economic degradation
leading to thanks engendering
profits in our own country and
in the innocent or colluding parts
of the world
                                     I am sadly reminded
of the first couple of our American
thanksgivings    thank you    thank you
our first American together with
the Absolutely First Americans    within a gener-
ation or half of one the first Americans
proceeded to drive the Absolutely First
Americans from their villages    rivers
fields over mountains and across the con-
tinent    out out they cried almost at
the same time shouting thank you    thanks
                                                thank you

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