Family, Gratitude, poetry, poverty

Who Knew I’d Give Thanks For…

Boxed by Craig J. Sunter,
Boxed by Craig J. Sunter,

Twenty plus people arrive at my home tomorrow. Lots of cleaning, shopping, cooking. For that I give thanks.

We’re celebrating with my mom, who’s still kicking and funnier than she realizes, siblings, nieces, nephews, friends. For that I give thanks.

Growing up, my sisters and brother and mom lived in government housing. I didn’t really notice that we were poor until the holidays. For that I give thanks.

There are no more days like that for us, and never for our children. For that I give thanks.

Thanksgiving Poem

Cardboard charity box,

left on the back porch

on a dreary early morn.


A big mama chicken?

No, a turkey.

Our very own?


Green beans, corn,

lots of corn, cranberry jelly,

a bag of flour.


Potato flakes—

none of us ever tasted those before—

made flavorful with welfare butter,

a yellow block of sunshine.


A table

with more than two items

to go with the grape Kool-Aid

and tortillas.


One parent,

four children,

all together.

For that, I give thanks.

To all my readers, for sharing your generous comments, dialogue, blogs, and books, I give thanks.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and time spent with loved ones this holiday.

11 thoughts on “Who Knew I’d Give Thanks For…”

  1. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family as well. You reminded me that I live in Government Housing right now, and that I am poor by anyone’s estimate of income and affordable living. I get most of my food from the local food share, and House of Neighborly Services. But being poor has nothing to do with happiness, does it? I feel so grateful for having a warm place to live and food on the table. It is a cruel world if you let it get to you. You know me, I’m a fighter! I will be with family in Boulder tomorrow celebrating the same as everyone else. What more could I hope for? My son Ben is coming for Christmas, it is what I live for! Thanks again, and enjoy the mess! LOVE & HUGS, suzi


  2. Hey, the happiest days of my life was when we were growing up in the Maravilla Housing Projects of East L.A. The old Maravilla Projects built right after WWII. Most of us kids had no fathers around. We were each others mini-dads and role models.

    My mom was one of the strongest persons I have known. She kept us going with home remedies, and great cooking. La Ayuda (welfare) got us through.

    The second happiest time of my life was when I was struggling to get through college on my G.I. Bill, living in an unheated room over my landlord. Food was mostly frozen dinners and ice cream. Kept me going. And I was happy.

    Happy Thanksgiving! (Yeah, I tend to be late with a lot of things. Wait’ll you read my Merry Christmas.)

    Liked by 1 person

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