Monday, November 22, 2010

With Thanksgiving & Gratitude...Poem #237

Students - last week I was in Florida and needed to take a taxi ride.  The taxi driver and I got talking, and I learned that he is from Haiti.  Most of his family still lives there, and as you know, Haiti continues to suffer from devastating earthquake-effects and disease.  He explained how his auntie saved to help him come to America and how he would like to help another family member come too, but it is more and more difficult to do so because of laws and money.  He explained how he would like to go to school, but how his expenses require that he work instead.  When I said that his mother must be proud that he was safe and doing well, he told me that his mother died when he was born.  I got out of that taxi knowing that I am not doing enough to help people in my community.

Our country has a history of welcoming new people, just as the Native Americans welcomed and helped the Pilgrims on that first Thanksgiving.  And this is a good week to look within and ask ourselves if there is someone in our class or school, someone in our community we might welcome warmly.  No, you probably won't teach anyone how to plant corn.  But if you have a new student in your school, you might sit next to him at lunch or share a joke on the bus.  If I have a new neighbor, I might bring over a pie and a smile.

My favorite holiday is Thanksgiving, and in honor of this day, I will list ten things for which I am grateful.  Not big things like whole people, but little gratitudes:

 the sound and feel of a real wood fire
talking with a child about his or her writing
        knowing that my family is snug in their beds
        picking strawberries under summer sun
losing track of time while writing
knowing that someone loves me no matter what
our cat Mini's purr (he is the most grateful creature)
a poem that makes me feel not-alone
being inside when soft heavy snowflakes fall 

Listing before writing always gets me going.  In fact, this list of gratitudes might spark a set of poems.  For what are you thankful?  Would you please tell me in the comments?  If you are a student in school, perhaps your teacher might write in sharing some gratitudes of your class.  Let a spirit of Thanksgiving hold us all like a boat.

Oh!  As I write, a bit of news bursts through my computer.  Someone new to be thankful for...little baby Violet.  For the past several months, her father has documented his parenting-anticipation in short and beautiful posts.  To read this writer's notebook style journal of baby-waiting, visit Bill M's blog, Daddled.  He plans to continue posting, and I'd like to send my warm congratulations to the whole family.

Teachers - tomorrow I will share a few highlights from NCTE and will link to more extensive posts with all poetry-session highlights!

(Please click on COMMENTS below to share a thought.)


  1. Thank you Amy! I was just thinking how often we talk about things that have made us angry or sad and not enough about the little things that make us happy everyday.

    I am thankful for that time right before bed when my 11 year old son and I squeeze into his twin bed to read some Harry Potter...I hope that lasts just a bit longer. (We are only on book 4 so I think I may have time as far a materials go....)

    I am thankful for the children that I see every week day and that I get to be a part of their school memories.

    In this particular time I am thankful that all the people that I love are healthy....I take that for granted way too often.

    Happy Thanksgiving time to you and your family!

  2. oh...PS...Nutella would have to be on my list too....kinda addicting. I will share my famous Nutella thumprint Christmas Cookie recipe...yummo :)

  3. Lori, I am so glad that I know you. Reading your words here and on your blog is a bright spot in my days. Now...about that recipe?! Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours! A.

  4. I am searching same kind of thanksgiving 2014 poems . thank you so much sharing with us. please upload more poems for us.