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
                              were discovered.
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
                    and around
                              her long table.
For all her hungry, wriggling, 
                              jabbering treasure--
          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--
Alberta's table,
          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.

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