As The Tryptophan Sedates

10460724_10102396905818412_2990401309137602020_n

Turkey is bitter

that’s why there’s cranberry sauce

heaps and heaps of it

to sweeten the taste and make

history palatable

 

so we’ll be happy

as the tryptophan sedates

the whole family

and we cheer as a pop star

sings the national anthem

 

and our uncle, the

racist, segways from bashing

activist athletes

to the north bound refugees

who fell from the news-cycle

 

after the midterms

‘they’ll destroy America’

says our dear uncle

‘no illegal immigrants’

says a cousin, deviled egg

 

in one hand, whiskey

in the other, losing sight

of the irony

as they proceed to attack

the indigenous people

 

fighting to protect

everything that sustains life

from the children of

the illegal immigrants

who came here and stole far more

 

than underpaid jobs

harvesting the nations food,

who came here and stole

this continent, body and

soul, and used cranberry sauce

 

to help hide the taste

of genocide, a flood of

gravy to help hide

the truth of Plymouth,

stuffing to keep us chewing

 

so we can’t ask why

Governor William Bradford

accepted their food

then gave the Wampanoag

a Judas kiss. We can’t miss

 

the next game, Cowboys

play the Redskins, grab a beer

we can focus now

that our racist relatives

are drunk driving themselves home

 

and part of us cries

for them because it must hurt

to hold so much hate

so much anger, so much fear

and part of us cries because

 

it took us so long

to realize we’d rather

be breaking bread with

the oppressed instead of the

oppressors, even if they’re

 

family. We see

now that we’d rather starve than

eat turkey, even

if there are heaps and heaps of

cranberry sauce, even if

 

there is pumpkin pie,

we’d rather die than honor

this genocidal

folklore, we’d rather die than

celebrate the beginning

 

of four-hundred years

of war which has stolen names

from tribes and from chiefs

and turned them into aircraft

feared by people everywhere

 

as they are hunted

the way our founding fathers

hunted nations like

the Apache and leaders

like Black Hawk

 

and we use these names

in places we send our kids

to both traumatize

and get traumatized, to kill

and get killed, and eat their fill

 

in the eerily

decorated chow-halls while

watching the Cowboys

play the Redskins, while eating

a lot of cranberry sauce.

 

The fourth Thursday of

November is no longer

Thanksgiving, it’s a

day of mourning and I

join those who remain, and mourn.

 

The following is from the United American Indians of New England website:

“Since 1970, Native Americans and our supporters have gathered at noon on Cole’s Hill in Plymouth to commemorate a National Day of Mourning on the US thanksgiving holiday. Many Native Americans do not celebrate the arrival of the Pilgrims and other European settlers. Thanksgiving day is a reminder of the genocide of millions of Native people, the theft of Native lands, and the relentless assault on Native culture. Participants in National Day of Mourning honor Native ancestors and the struggles of Native peoples to survive today. It is a day of remembrance and spiritual connection as well as a protest of the racism and oppression which Native Americans continue to experience.”

 

Learn more about their website:

http://uaine.org/

Advertisements

About soitgoes1984

I live on a small island in the middle of the Pacific ocean in the Hawaiian Kingdom which is currently illegally occupied by the American government. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
This entry was posted in america, family, haiku, history, National Day of Mourning, Native Americans, poem, Poetry, racism, tanka, thanksgiving, turkey, Uncategorized, writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.