They came across the ocean to the wild, unsettled shore
to a new land giving refuge with its widely opened door.
And though many lost possessions, and some lost their lives,
still, they came seeking freedom with their children and their wives.
With fear and tribulations, they left their homes behind
and traveled many months for this new land to find.
And when they tread the shoreline, they knelt in prayer to God,
giving thanks to the Almighty as they stood on freedoms sod.
With guns and hoes and axes, they build their homes anew.
There never was a minute lacking for some chore to do.
With aching backs and muscles, they tilled the virgin earth,
and thanked God for their blessings, the harvest and new birth.
Each day was filled with challenge, with illness, death and pain.
But, work they did with vigor, sorrow, tears and rain.
Friends they made of natives, who taught them nature's plans.
Harvest was the sweeter with the clasp of friendly hands.
A feast they made in gladness for their freedom, joy and health.
They thanked God for the freshness, for their freedom was their wealth.
And so, their first Thanksgiving was a pattern for us all.
Still, two centuries later, we remember it each fall.
These first pilgrim Americans who were stout of limb and heart,
gave up their homes across the sea to make a brand new start.
And we, their heirs to freedom, in honor kneel to pray,
to thank them and God above for this Thanksgiving Day.
(c) 2014 Evelyn B. Ryan