By Cardinal Cox
Sickness and slavery was all they brought
These strange pale men from the depths of the sea
When we saw their wives and children we thought
They might be peaceable, was not to be
They took the fertile fields of those who’d died
They would argue and kill each other too
And they would gift death to any who tried
To help by showing medicines that grew
In forests or field. The spirits have left
And the newcomers are empty of soul
Land itself becomes hollow and bereft
As though beneath us is a gaping hole
Annual Thanksgiving of ash and bone
Our homes are remembered by ghosts alone
By Mark Hudson
is nothing but a noun.
is nothing but a verb.
Gonna go to Grandma’s house,
Gonna celebrate the fact,
that she’s still living.
Over the river and through the woods,
to grandma’s house we go.
We’ll have some turkey that’s good,
we’re going to eat some doe.
With the uncle who hunts the meal,
Thanksgiving a gigantic feast.
Thanksgiving roads by the wheel,
Chevrolet taking us East.
Watching leaves fall from the trees,
autumn closing behind its curtain.
A chill is felt in the breeze,
winter is coming, its coming for certain.
We gather in Grandma’s barn,
and eat ourselves some pecan pie.
Grandpa tells a corny old yarn,
with a crazy gleam in his eye.
Dinner is served-all have arrived,
the cousins, the kids-the aunts.
Uncle Bob and Adam who is five,
and the unfamiliar guest Jeff Krantz.
As we dig into the turkey and stuffing,
don’t tell me you’re grateful for nothing!
Because if you say that, you must be bluffing!
By Kimberly Y. Choi
“I think I’ve got this.” My brother squinted one eye at the wild turkey and twitched the rifle back and forth. “Or, I don’t know.”
“Want me to do it?” My own hands were sweating, though, without even holding a gun.
As he was kneeling on the ground, focused on his aim, his pose looked ripe for a picture. I snapped a photo and flicked it into our historical re-enactment club’s folder. It was true to what they would’ve done in the 2020s; taking overabundances of photos and posting them on the early internet was a major part of youth culture.
While bracing myself to be startled by the sound of gunfire, I examined the photo. My brother’s costume, as did mine, looked so much like the people in the stereotypical old pictures, just with the trivial inaccuracy that the sleeves and pants were short. Back then, they would’ve had to dress warmly in November. We’d done our best.
Yet as perfect as he looked, he still wouldn’t shoot. How long did we have to stay here?
“He– he’s walking away.” There was resignation in his whisper.
“Well, what do you think? Follow him.”
“He’s going into the bushes though.”
I sighed. “Here, give me that.”
He handed me the gun. I stood, but now that the power was in my hands, this physical weight, I didn’t know what to do.
“Holding this thing makes me feel pretty ‘cool,’” I joked, uneasy.
“I don’t think that’s exactly how ‘cool’ was used.” He chuckled. “Or maybe it is. I’m not sure.”
I crept a couple steps forwards. I was supposed to walk as soundlessly as possible, I knew. But I half-wished the bird would hear me and escape. The woods felt so unconcerned in that moment, the sound of wind and insects proceeding without hesitation.
I said, “It’s weird how they did this almost every day, isn’t it? Eat animals.”
“Yes, yes, it is.” My brother watched the turkey peck at the ground so springily as though nothing was wrong. “I’m not even morally against it, you know. It’s just weird.”
I lowered the rifle.
“Bill’s going to be disappointed,” I said. “He told me he spent hours going through old recipes looking for the best one.”
As we headed towards the gates of our towering city without the meat, the turkey raised his intricately striped wings and fled from us. We stayed silent. All this to honor a past method of honoring the past! And all to impress upon us just how much we were people of our own time.
By K. A. Williams
It was cold this morning; I fluffed up my feathers. I warmed my feet by scratching around for breakfast and dug up some tasty grubs and worms which I gobbled whole.
“Your ma will be so proud of you when you shoot a turkey for Thanksgiving dinner.”
The voice scared me and I squeezed myself into a thicket before the man who spoke could see me.
“She’d probably rather cook one from the grocery store that didn’t have to be prepared. Last year Ma spent an hour just getting all the feathers out,” said a second voice.
Then the speakers came into view – a tall male human and a short male human. Both of them carried shotguns. I stayed still and hoped I was well hidden.
They went past me on down the path but I could still hear them talking. “I knew you’d like the rifle I bought you for your birthday. You did great on the shooting range, you won’t have any trouble getting us a turkey and some other game as well.”
Their voices faded down the path. I hadn’t finished my breakfast and was still hungry. I’d grown big and had barely fit myself into the space I was now in. There was no room for me to forage. If I moved, the thicket would rustle and I would be discovered.
I hoped my family had been able to conceal themselves as well. My dear mother had disappeared at this time last year, now I knew what had happened to her. I could hear gunfire in the distance while I stayed hidden.
“Your ma will be disappointed that we didn’t bag any game this time. I’m sorry you missed all those wild ducks that flew by. I was sure you’d get one of them, there were so many. I wouldn’t have missed that bobwhite if you hadn’t stumbled and bumped against me. It’s lunchtime, let’s give up and go home. I can’t believe we didn’t see a single turkey this morning.” The tall human headed down the path, away from me.
The short human stopped in front of the thicket where I was hiding. “Me too, Pa, I wonder where they’ve all gone.” He looked directly at me and waved, before following the other male.
By DJ Tyrer
The alien invasion
Came as quite a surprise
Not the form folk expected
Raided the turkey farms
The woods, anywhere with the birds
Tractor beamed them aboard saucers
Too swift for retaliation
Flew away and radioed back
A farewell, saying
So long and thanks for all the turkeys!