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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving and Poetry

It's Thanksgiving.

Which means I've been cooking for two days.

And when I make the stuffed mushrooms and stuffed artichokes I think of my grandmother. She would stand over the very same iron skillet I used just yesterday, browning the breadcrumbs  and cheese in the olive oil-- dragging the spatula through the mixture in slow deliberate movements like a peaceful mediation.  Somehow I am eight again, peering over the stove--hungry for dinner to begin--waiting for her to finish my favorite dish so I can eat whatever leftover crumbs may spill from her wood spoon onto a plate.  And today, when I chop the onions, celery and apples for the stuffing, I remember my Uncle Link and his magnificent recipe. With each swipe of the blade I think back to that Thanksgiving  in New York when he made the biggest turkey I had ever seen...bringing it to my mother's house, bacon strips dripping off the top of the bird while the winds of a very cold Thanksgiving rattled the checkered curtains of my mother's basement kitchen. He was careful negotiating the cement steps, carrying the large bird as if it were some kind prayer he would be offering up for all us. And today when I put out the good china and crystal, I can hear my mother's laughter as she set our family table--how many times?--enough so that all the memories of all those meals feels like just one shining moment in my young life. And this morning when I finished the turkey with butter, I think of my Aunt Faye--who at 92 is still very lovely--who taught me how to prepare a meal on that Thanksgiving, so long ago, when we didn't have much but that one bird  and some butter we managed to buy.  We did have each other in that hard time. And, I like to believe, we did have the knowledge that we all-- somehow --will find our way into this very future--the one in  which I write this small note and send it out into the world as a blessing. From all of us to all of you.






5 comments:

karmenghia said...

What a fantastic tribute to your family. There is nothing better than remembering tradition and past moments on Thanksgiving. Thanks for sharing.

karmenghia said...

There is nothing better than remembering tradition and special moments with family, especially at Thanksgiving. Thanks for sharing your story.

karmenghia said...

There is nothing better than remembering tradition and family moments, especially as Thanksgiving. Thanks for sharing your story.

Lois Roma-Deeley said...

For me, this is the essence of poetry...

Mad Coyote joe said...

I'm up early, as we now have three dogs due to some family issues and the puppy likes to wake me so I can watch him sleep. I was checking the progress on my blog and thought I'd drop by, to see what you were up to. As usual your words have taken me on a voyage; not only to a thanksgiving long ago, but to those days when I was so sick, sitting in your classroom, finding a part of myself that had all but died and I had yet to truely meet. I wonder if you can really see what you do with those words that seem to flow from you so effortlessly, like some of the musicians I have known a warrior in God's battle.
Have a merry Christmas Lois
Mad Coyote Joe