Reading poems with children can be great fun. Snuggling together, listening to the rhythm and rhymes, catching an interesting image or giggling over a funny line, brings a sense of intimacy and richness to your family gathering. Reading good prose, enjoying together a great piece of art, music or dance are all wonderful, but don’t forget to add the enjoyment of good poetry. Here is a poem by Nancy Byrd Turner you can have fun with at Thanksgiving. You may want to add some of the details you think the first Thanksgiving included, but the cadence and rhyme are fun and the spirit is one of true gratefulness!

First Thanksgiving of All

by Nancy Byrd Turner

Peace and Mercy and Jonathan,

And Patience (very small),

Stood by the table giving thanks

The first Thanksgiving of all.

There was very little for them to eat,

Nothing special and nothing sweet;

Only bread and a little broth,

And a bit of fruit (and no tablecloth):

But Peace and Mercy and Jonathan

And Patience, in a row,

Stood up and asked a blessing on

Thanksgiving long ago.

Thankful they were their ship had come

Safely across the sea;

Thankful they were for hearth and home,

And kin and company;

They were glad of broth to go with their bread,

Glad their apples were round and red,

Glad of mayflowers they would bring

Out of the woods again next spring.

So Peace and Mercy and Jonathan,

And Patience (very small),

Stood up gratefully giving thanks

The first Thanksgiving of all.

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