Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Happy Thanksgiving--perhaps my favorite holiday.
Alberta's Thanksgiving table
stretched through two rooms,
A teetery assemblage
of planks and saw horses,
of unhinged doors,
Cloaked in every available cloth.
But there was a place for each of us
set in mismatched china
and paper napkins--
The daughters and daughter-in-laws--
after their fussy frenzy in the little kitchen--
The sons and sons-in-laws--
after their football game at the park--
The wild mob of grandchildren--
deliciously guilty of petty theft
once the hidden jam tarts
A place for Alberta at the head
and Vic to the side
where his crippled leg would fit.
A place fore or aft of Uncle Sherm
depending on your enthusiasm
for mashed potatoes.
And a place for me--
who peeked during the blessing,
To see the tears on Alberta's cheeks
As the Good Lord was thanked
for all that was on
her long table.
For all her hungry, wriggling,
seated on the piano bench
a kitchen stool,
patio chairs borrowed from the neighbors
and bumped to height
with phonebooks and dictionaries.
Too much gone--
the house that housed it,
and too many that sat round it.
The mitosis of that long table
to smaller tables
peppered across the country
across the globe--
Each with a Thanksgiving grace-
and the faith behind it
that are Alberta's.