The Thanksgiving Table

The faint clink of silver on china
The sharp snap of crystal against wood
The soft echo of laughter from voices now stilled,
These things I remember.
Soft linen napkins
Too many people crammed into
Someone’s tiny apartment somewhere.
Rain-slicked streets 53 stories down.
The California fog.
That amazing snow in the Swedish countryside.
My house, your house:
These, I remember, as well.

Many’s the time
We gave thanks at table
For pleasures both simple and complex.
Today your smiles haunt me
As does the notion of
A perfect cornmeal apple stuffing.
I miss the easy slide
From politics to pinots.
Your artful table settings
And carefully crafted seating charts
Never really transformed
The hodgepodge groupings
Of family and friends —
Why should they? How could they?
We gathered in celebration of abundance —
Not order.

Sometimes it feels that
Too many of the joys
Of Thanksgivings gone by
Are themselves gone by and ghostly.
But still, thanks are offered by
A gracious plenty:
I am not alone in thanksgiving.
And whensoever I eat this bread
Or drink this wine
I do so in remembrance of you.

Ann Keeler Evans©2007

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