Thanksgiving Eve: A Poem

Thanksgiving Eve

I’ve mastered avoidance. Logged out. Forcing blindness
for a few days because my blood can’t handle any more
apologies, insistence on the right to celebrate
genocide, whining about how they’ll not get to see
their families for this one day
when families of long ago were oblivious
to the fact that they may not live to see
their families, or for this colonization
to be declared a holiday, or …
listen, I’ve not seen my family in years.

do you really love them if you’re willing to risk killing them by your insistence of your presence at their tables?

it’s sadly fitting:
“I do what I want”

we know, we know, we know.

I want you safe & healthy & I know enough
to never expect that from you. When I see it
I rejoice like it’s a miracle. Not in a snarky way.
I really am generally surprised when a person
does good.

and there are so many without food.

That I can’t forget about either.
How a land promised can be a betrayal.
How crops refuse to grow. How my people
find it hard to take root now. How?
Yes, that old, awful joke.
How did we lose all this land?

Laughter is a defense. A native journalist
on TikTok holds up ten fingers for every
stereotypical racist thing he’s had said to him
& I’ve heard all of them too. We have
to laugh at everything
or we’ll spend our short lives in tears.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m thankful
every day of my life. I’m not a big fan
of turkey but I’ll eat it if it’s there
& I love a good parade.
I’m not asking you
to stop what you’re doing for my sake.
I’m not asking you to do anything
other than remember. Remember what your
ancestors promised. Remember us.
Remember your neighbors when they’re
too afraid to ask for help. Remember
your insistence (selfishness) if you or any one
you know happens to fall sick.
Remember…for the love of
everything, know, that this
pandemic is far from over.

Thank your God,
your Creator,
your mother,
your very breath.

Thank the hands
that feed you, risk
for you, die
for you, stay home
for you.

I’m thankful that my people
are still here
even though many
refuse to see us. I’m thankful
I can find a reason to be happy
even if I want to scream
so my loved ones in their graves
can hear. I’m thankful for love
because that’s one thing
they’ll never take away from me.

I’m thankful for you.
For listening. For
a new winter
freeze approaching
that will clear
the way for
more reparations.

I’m resolving to start within me.

how about you?

*Note Special shoutout to Vince Schilling for inspiring some lines with this video:

Published by Jennifer Patino


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