How I Invented Thanksgiving

O Plymouth: A Proem

Or: How I Invented Thanksgiving

The first settlers had a meeting on February 26, 1827
the downtown was officially called Podunk.
Podunk that mythical American town
fine Indians who settled near the Podunk river
Con-nec-ti-cut
thus small American town
generic
Podunk
found in the Buffalo Daily National Pilot newspaper
Letters from Podunk, beginning January 5, 1846 –

The north end of Plymouth town Michigan was called Joppa
no doubt a Biblical reference to the port near present day Tel Aviv
somebody suggested Peking as a name for the town
[their first choice was LeRoy
but that name was taken already] –

we live in a great country.

Several of the early settlers came from Plymouth Mass
so they called it Plymouth,
Michigan.

My Daddy worked in the next town.

I was told the Pilgrims landed first in
Mass-a-chu-setts
the Pilgrims landed in Michigan for me
the first Thanksgiving
when the Pilgrims and others
brought down Sukkot as their guide
from this –
my book:

When you have come into the land which your God is giving you as a heritage,
and have occupied it and settled in it
you shall take some first fruits of the ground which you harvest
from the land which God gives you
put them in a basket,
go to the place which God chooses
for the dwelling place of the name
the Name.
There you shall go to the priest in office at that time and say to him,
Today I acknowledge to God that I have indeed
come into the land sworn to our fathers and mothers
given to us.

I read my book and it was then
I invented Thanksgiving.

In school
Miss Mill said:

See the Pilgrims
in their gratitude:
they landed December 11, 1620
the first winter devastating
46 of the original 102 who sailed on the Mayflower
dead.

Where are they buried –
among the wood framed houses
of Plymouth, Michigan,

No thanksgiving that first winter
if there had been a way back
a good number of them might have taken it –

Then – year two — they had bountiful harvest
the first successful harvest celebrated with a meal
1621,
The survivors celebrated with a feast
the Wampanoag and the Pilgrims ate together –

see them at the IHOP in Plymouth, Michigan,

the Pilgrims invited 91 Indians who had helped the Pilgrims survive
after the shock of the first winter.

I looked out the window
and waved as my Daddy went to
work
day after day
near Plymouth, Michigan,
the holy site of first fruits –
Thanksgiving.
Grateful grateful
for the bounty of this place
where my Dad worked the dream,

Here –
this is for you,
he used to say,

O Michigan
O Plymouth
O America –
thank you for that first fruited
Thanksgiving

And all the
Thanksgivings
since,

Yours truly
jsg, usa.