“Thanks-Giving Day” – poem by Paul O’Mahony

sometimes our thank you is said so casually
or quickly that it is nearly meaningless.
(Martin Seligman)
______________

I was never thankful
to my father
or my mother

I wasn’t even thankful
to the Universe
for what I had.

the house, clothes, water, food, shoes, shirts, bath,
garden, roses, grass, apples, hens, cabbage, loganberries,
hedgehog, lizard, bushes, even the bees

tortoise, trees, dogs, cats, fire, pocket-money, prayers,
holy water, statues, carpets, paintings, music, jelly, eggcups,
fireplaces,books, radiogram, even the plums

school, transport, brothers, sisters, God, cod-liver oil, mass,
chickens, eggs, lamb, salmon, ox-tongue, bread and butter pudding,
golf clubs, cut glass, even the gooseberries

ice cream, pancakes, rice pudding, red currants, peaches, pears,
record player, transistor radio, Luxembourg, milk, football, rashers,
cards, chess, rugby, even the blackberries

dobbers, conkers, tiddlywinks, compendium of games, holidays,
stories, photographs, confession, friends, short trousers, novenas,
nuns, thermometers, even the wagtails

pillows, pencils, bicycles, blazers, socks, sweets, pepper, porridge,
underpants, sandals, gospels, rules, knives, teaspoons, commandments,
gongs, conversations, birthdays, even the earthworms

If you asked me then whether I was grateful
I’d have said ‘yes’

If you ask me now whether I was thankful
I shall stay silent.

If you’re curious to know whether I am thankful today
I am more full of thanks than ever

– for all that and more.