Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Just Another Thursday

I remember, if only barely, 
what feelings soaked the eyes
of the child I used to be when 
on that first Thanksgiving in America
I skittered to the kitchen and saw mother
stuffing cabbages with sticky clumps
 of ham and bread like Germans do.

In my mind's dimlit pantry, 
where memories cure
there stands a puzzled 5 year old 
blinking dully
at those leafy skulls.

So odd it seemed 
after weeks and weeks
of painting plump and fleecy 
fowl in school
that there in my Ohio home
Thanksgiving was just another Thursday.
Father fighting in Korea and mother
just shut the oven door 
on those lime-green cabbage heads
she fixed once a week.

Now be glad, she scolded--
nonplussed, noncomprehending--
today's the day one stuffs a thing
and that I did.


It’s a joyful convocation, the one I dream of—
a glimmering jubilee where jolly friends and family 
clasp hands around an altar all aglow with light and silver.

All are clapping, praising, toasting
laughing and embracing, spinning 
delicious tales that kindle cheering up and down the rows.

Steaming dishes spiced and tinted as prescribed by generations
hurry down the table rousing awe and clamor as the children 
suck on fruity brews and their elders swig the beer and wine—
spiking fancies all the more.

Not a soul declines to linger after every belly has been stuffed
to remember one more wise or zesty story, swallow one more spoon
of Harvest Torte—so delighted and so thankful seems each and every one
for this communion.

And when ochre shadows finally flush the hearth,
when burning timber snaps and glistening candles drip,
my old yearnings all have faded. I am happy here just being 
knowing time is melting, melting with the whipped cream on the torte.