by Anita S. Pulier

Pay attention
to this table
to this gathering
to the fall sky
the people who are here
and the people who are not.

Accept the truth.
Pilgrims did not come for religious freedom
but to insist on the practice of a punitive religion.
Indians not lost to gunfire or smallpox
were vigilant warriors, tribe pitted against tribe.

All this imperfection has
evolved into our holiday
celebrated by feasting,
reworking history,
telling apocryphal tales
as though history can be recast.

But please,
through the din and chatter,
find a moment,
pay attention, and
notice this rare opportunity

to be grateful,
to raise a glass,
with joy and hope,
that against all odds
we can yet become

that Nation,
that one Indivisible Nation,
of decent, fair minded celebrants—
and for that possibilty
we can be truly thankful.

After retiring from her law practice, Anita S. Pulier served as a U. S. representative for the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom at the United Nations. Her chapbooks Perfect Diet, The Lovely Mundane, and Sounds Of Morning, as well as her book The Butchers Diamond were published by Finishing Line Press. Anita’s poems have appeared both online and in print in many journals and several anthologies. Recently she has been the featured poet on The Writers Almanac.