Thanks, Mom and Dad, for all the wonderful Thanksgivings back in the sixties and seventies at 253 West First street. Those were priceless occasions of joy and family togetherness. The food never stopped coming out of the kitchen and onto the table. Outside, the wind blew and the leaves sailed fast against and past the window. Uncle Artie cracked a joke and everyone laughed. Then everyone laughed at anyone. Aunt Stella asked for more turnips and I piled high the white meat on my plate. Johnny bought in two Schaefer’s from the fridge. Gene and I went and got more beer, after stopping at City Line Bar. Laura drew a horse and said she would ride it one day. Lorraine said “look, it’s starting to snow” A small argument momentarily sullied the afternoon and the wind blew harder and I heard Pat Summerall bellow “as the clock is winding down at Pontiac Stadium, Bear’s thirty-seven, Lions, three” The whole thing lasted forever or until everyone went home.

The living room light was warm and the laughter was too/
But the sky turned grey and my thoughts to blue/

For I saw high on a limb, across the yard,
a bird of black whose gaze looked hard/
He stared at me with beaded eye,
a forlorn look and I wondered why/

It announced a gloom, it seemed to me,
A portend I dared not wished to see/
The moments spent at the table that day,
were to live past the lives of the guests in a way/

At first, I concluded, as if at a chance meeting,
Love, live and laugh, for it is all so fleeting/

But I then inferred as if through a strange portal,
the only things that are truly immortal/
Are those moments spent together in love,
carried here and forever on the wings of a dove.

A bird so opposite of the one I just saw,
in the yard on the limb, in the wind so raw/

Not all is understood in the white of Light,
One has to see in darkness to attain the might/

That serves so well, in times of travail
of loss, and pain and spirits that fail/

For white makes black and pain makes pleasure,
and time is the guest that we all should treasure/

At the dinner table, we set in haste,
or of time ill spent that went to waste/

For better things are in the offin’,
before you get nailed shut in your coffin/

So show gratitude and mercy to stranger and kin/
to evade the demons you once invited in.

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