Thursday, November 25, 2010

November Poetry Challenge: 25/30: A Thankgiving for my Family

Here's poem #25 in my November poetry challenge. I hope you all had as wonderful as day as I did!

A Thanksgiving for my Family

Just a typical Thanksgiving dinner.
My daughter was home from college,
and my brother and his family flew in,
so there were 11 around my parents' table
for turkey and stuffing
and card games.
I took pictures,
even though they'll look pretty much
like last year's shots,
and the years before that,
back through pretty much all my life.
I take it for granted sometimes...

...but not tonight.
Tonight I'm thinking of my uncle's
family dinner,
as they deal with the aftermath
of his illness. He's back physically,
but his brain is still drifting in transit.
And I consider my friends,
with an empty seat at their table.
It is their second Thanksgiving
without husband and father.
And there are the folks I know
who grit their teeth
and brace themselves
for their obligatory
family gatherings,
with their inevitable
soul ripping
And the ones
who for their own health
and mental survival
have cut blood family
out of their lives entirely.

I don't take my picture perfect
family Thanksgiving
for granted
at all.
I am so blessed
that my folks are still with me.
That my brother and I
can share jokes and stories.
That there is laughter, and honest delight,
and layers of family history to enjoy
and to pass on to our children--
who are soaking it all in
with grins on their faces.
Asking for more.

I am incredibly Thankful
for my unusual,
And I will cherish
each and every year
that we can gather
at the Table.

Melissa McCollum

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