1. Thanksgiving

    Gettin’ together to smile an’ rejoice,
    An’ eatin’ an’ laughin’ with folks of your choice;
    An’ kissin’ the girls an’ declarin’ that they
    Are growin’ more beautiful day after day;
    Chattin’ an’ braggin’ a bit with the men,
    Buildin’ the old family circle again;
    Livin’ the wholesome an’ old-fashioned cheer,
    Just for awhile at the end of the year.

    Greetings fly fast as we crowd through the door
    And under the old roof we gather once more
    Just as we did when the youngsters were small;
    Mother’s a little bit grayer, that’s all.
    Father’s a little bit older, but still
    Ready to romp an’ to laugh with a will.
    Here we are back at the table again
    Tellin’ our stories as women an’ men.

    Bowed are our heads for a moment in prayer;
    Oh, but we’re grateful an’ glad to be there.
    Home from the east land an’ home from the west,
    Home with the folks that are dearest an’ best.
    Out of the sham of the cities afar
    We’ve come for a time to be just what we are.
    Here we can talk of ourselves an’ be frank,
    Forgettin’ position an’ station an’ rank.

    Give me the end of the year an’ its fun
    When most of the plannin’ an’ toilin’ is done;
    Bring all the wanderers home to the nest,
    Let me sit down with the ones I love best,
    Hear the old voices still ringin’ with song,
    See the old faces unblemished by wrong,
    See the old table with all of its chairs
    An’ I’ll put soul in my Thanksgivin’ prayers.

    By Edgar Albert Guest

     
  2. The Gift Outright

    The land was ours before we were the land’s.
    She was our land more than a hundred years
    Before we were her people. She was ours
    In Massachusetts, in Virginia,
    But we were England’s, still colonials,
    Possessing what we still were unpossessed by,
    Possessed by what we now no more possessed.
    Something we were withholding made us weak
    Until we found out that it was ourselves
    We were withholding from our land of living,
    And forthwith found salvation in surrender.
    Such as we were we gave ourselves outright
    (The deed of gift was many deeds of war)
    To the land vaguely realizing westward,
    But still unstoried, artless, unenhanced,
    Such as she was, such as she would become.

    By Robert Frost

     
  3. You Have What I Look For

    You have what I look for, what I long for, what I love,
    you have it.
    The fist of my heart is beating, calling.
    I thank the stories for you,
    I thank your mother and father
    and death who has not seen you.
    I thank the air for you.
    You are elegant as wheat,
    delicate as the outline of your body.
    I have never loved a slender woman
    but you have made my hands fall in love,
    you moored my desire,
    you caught my eyes like two fish.
    And for this I am at your door, waiting.

    By Jamie Sabines, translated by W. S. Merwin from the original Spanish