Arts and Entertainment

Thanksgiving | Poem by Tim Nolan

Here’s a poem for this season by Tim Nolan, of Minnesota. Once we begin to be thankful for things, there are more and more things to be thankful for.


Thanksgiving

Thanks for the Italian chestnuts—with their
tough shells—the smooth chocolaty
skin of them—thanks for the boiling water—

 

itself a miracle and a mystery—
thanks for the seasoned sauce pan
and the old wooden spoon—and all

 

the neglected instruments in the drawer—
the garlic crusher—the bent paring knife—
the apple slicer that creates six

 

perfect wedges out of the crisp Haralson—
thanks for the humming radio—thanks
for the program on the radio

 

about the guy who was a cross-dresser—
but his wife forgave him—and he
ended up almost dying from leukemia—

 

(and you could tell his wife loved him
entirely—it was in her deliberate voice)—
thanks for the brined turkey—

 

the size of a big baby—thanks—
for the departed head of the turkey—
the present neck—the giblets

 

(whatever they are)—wrapped up as
small gifts inside the cavern of the ribs—
thanks—thanks—thanks—for the candles

 

lit on the table—the dried twigs—
the autumn leaves in the blue Chinese vase—
thanks—for the faces—our faces—in this low light.

 

American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation (www.poetryfoundation.org), publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright ©2012 by Tim Nolan, from his most recent book of poems, And Then, New Rivers Press, 2012. Poem reprinted by permission of Tim Nolan and the publisher. Introduction copyright © 2012 by The Poetry Foundation. The introduction's author, Ted Kooser, served as United States Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 2004-2006. We do not accept unsolicited manuscripts.
We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

Read the latest Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Aug 22 edition online now. Browse the archives.