thanksgiving in a time of covid

In Tove Jansson’s Moominland Midwinter, Moomintroll accidentally wakes from hibernation too early. Accustomed to sleeping through winter, he is shocked to find the world shrouded in snow, his garden entirely unfamiliar. “All the world has died while I slept,” he thinks. “It isn’t made for Moomins.” Feeling terribly lonely, he goes to the bedroom and pulls back his mother’s quilt: “Wake up!” he shouts. “All the world’s got lost!” His mother curls up on her bed-mat and sleeps on. This is a mirror of my own winter, or how it seems to me: everybody else is drowsing while I am wide awake and hounded by sharp fears.

• Katherine May. Wintering (p. 20)

• • •

not me, the wakeful moomin
i am more like the mother
on the bed-mat i huff
hinge to my other side
hug the pillow, hunker down

the house will smell of thanksgiving
and we’ll have a quiet dinner
looking out on the fallow garden
beneath the gray
but, just so you know,
i’ll be sleeping through it all
just like the rest of this year
so vague and tiresome

it’s my part to wait it out
i tell myself
but another voice says this is not a good waiting
this is entropy, plain and simple
lay there long enough
and it all turns to shit

the world’s got lost
right under our noses
but no matter who tries to shake me
awake i’ve not the energy
to arise right now

i know it’s not
the warmest or brightest thanksgiving thought
but senses are dulled this year
so i wish you a restful day
and the comfort of pie
and hope that the garden will become
familiar again

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