Thanksgiving

Bring to the table the heirloom

your grandmother handed down, silver

gravy boat, ladle for memories of dimpled arms,

flour-dusted, wafting Chantilly, as she laughs

and sweeps you in close.

Bring the dishes, Blue Willow, some beginning

to chip, and the flatware that waits

in the hutch, your rare occasion spoils.

Bring the turkey you almost forgot

to defrost, yams steaming under the crisped puff

of marshmallow, stuffing from a new recipe

you saw in Eating Well magazine, a balance

determined yet delicate.

Bring the wine, apple pie, prayer

to press into each clasped palm,

ancestor song and shrapnel hope,

chant for the broken, the lost, longing

that leaves the belly on a forgotten

breath, blesses what wants to speak,

to pierce the air like the sliver

of forgiveness still trapped

in the throat, like love learning

another name — sepia,

umber, bronze, leaves that wave

their stubbornness

under a blue November sky.