there have been so many
holiday dinners
starting at the children’s table
mistaking whipped turnips
for mashed potatoes
& having to eat them all
once they hit my plate
smiling past my throat closing
on that hated taste

I like turnips now

but this is about
much more than those
& that jellied cranberry
that pinks a plate
like faint bleeding

but this is about
more than jellies
& bread & butter pickles

this is about family, together
not my mother’s turkeys
not all the way cooked at the hip
that had to go back into the oven
a time or two
& maybe that turkey
my sister dropped hot on the floor
her first, burning her feet

the limp salads
the mashed potatoes with lumps
over-starched gravy
clinging to my tongue like glue
or his turkey this afternoon
I said would have soft, greasy skin
if it was cooked that way
& it did.  I choked
on how right I was all through dinner

it is not about what you eat
but who you eat with

it is better to be wrong
than have to eat the dry proof
of rightness
served up pretty
on your plate

About Susan L Daniels

I am a firm believer that politics are personal, that faith is expressed through action, and that life is something that must be loved and lived authentically--or why bother with any of it?
This entry was posted in New Free Verse and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to dinners

  1. ruleofstupid says:

    I’m surprised you didn’t write about the mourners day aspect of thanksgiving. This is a nice evocation of family though, sounds lovely and warm and familiar – hope you enjoy your turkey 🙂

  2. jmgoyder says:

    I have never heard of whipped turnips!

  3. Green Speck says:

    “it is not about what you eat
    but who you eat with” – so true !!!

  4. nelle says:

    Yup, it is. And in fact, being wrong is an important thing in life, *providing* one sees the wrong, acknowledges it, and learns from the experience. Anyone claiming perfection need not sit at the table, put on a halo and head for etherea.

  5. Very nice. Hope you had a lovely weekend.

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