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Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thanksgiving Day

My Mother and Grandmothers
are cooking Thanksgiving at my home today
Oh my no they aren't in the same kitchen
but their own kitchens that have expanded
beyond the walls of the place I live
The rain awakened me this morning
and the clattering of pans
in between the smells of cooking turkey
and pie oh yes pie
All the cousins aunts and uncles
everybody I ever knew in my family
and some I never met until today
arrive in this magic
as a great table begins to expand
in my living room
Why they chose my place is beyond me
and beyond the small walls of these rooms
that seem to explode with the arrival
of family and friends
Such a table has never been seen
It grows each minute
when someone remembers another
who belongs with this group
Out comes the bottles of wine
with grandchildren begging for a taste
More cousins arrive
Brothers sisters wives husbands
hundreds now chattering a roar
that outdoes the rain on a metal trailer roof
I see my children when they were little
playing with their own children
in an impossible scene of hilarity
that spawns a sandbox in another room
that expands suddenly before my eyes
as little hands steal olives
and a chorus of mothers and grandmothers
sing in multi-part harmony
their age-old song
“Now don't spoil your dinner”
that seems to have been written by Bach
and Sondheim all at once
an amazing chorus that seems to last
through many curtain calls
dripping with applause

Now from a hundred ovens
dancing turkeys browned to perfection
drop on platters for the fathers and grandfathers
going back generations
to feel important as they strop and steel
their fancy knives used only on this day
The table expands beyond all walls
in a star shaped explosion as if July 4th
just became a day for furniture to detonate
with more and more chairs filled
with friends family and the ones
who need such a party
as they've never seen before

Soon there are soldiers from every war
home to hug their moms
tears flow into barrel-sized gravy boats
Dancing down the middle of every section
the finest silverware jumps into hands
as platters float silently in front of the family
for we are all family today
doing justice for our freedoms and our gratitudes
As I walk from my bedroom
into this circus of Thanksgiving magic
someone yells for me to say grace
words I now stutter with my radio-trained voice
whose ending is the loudest amen I've ever heard
breaking windows and sending clouds away
to seize the light of a distant sun
that now surrounds each member
of this golden table
Happy Thanksgiving everyone I yell
and all at once it seems
every silver serving dish
and platter of slabs of perfectly carved turkey
show up before me
Such a day I think

Now where's the gravy
I have stuffing begging
with outstretched arms
to be drowned in thickened rapture

Barry G. Wick

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