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
under a blue November sky.