To get a peek into understanding my dreadful un-aunt-like qualities coupled with my macabe sense of humor, one would have to know how sweet and innocent my dear little niece is. Since she was a small child standing in her grandmother's living room and singing, "I Believe I Can Fly," for her adoring relatives, Kelli has possessed a charming outer calmness and beauty that seemed to help define the deeper waters of her precious little soul.
With big blue eyes and a soft spoken manner, Kelli is the epitome of unspoiled youth. And I make no apologies for being a proud aunt and truly believe there is no predjudice involved.
Returning to our agreement that Thanksgiving, I can still recall the sweetness of the reflections on the piece of paper my niece shyly handed to me. I remember the affection for the holiday her words mirrored. She was about fifteen then, if memory serves, and I probably shouldn't have handed the poem I wrote to her. I can still recall her widened eyes as they perused my dark musings but the poem I shared was not about the beauty of familial gatherings or the wonderful food or even the fine tradition of giving thanks.
If I have piqued your interest, please take a "gander" at the following poem titled: "A Thanksgiving Horror Story," and take the time to say a prayer for Kelli who is probably still suffering from the traumatic effects of my verse.
A Thanksgiving Horror Story
Be good this Thanksgiving
I tell myself
As if some Thanksgivings
I have not been.
(I do remember how
switches strike hot cut cut cut into little bare legs)
Don’t make anything out of everything.
Pull love out of every crevice
You can find
(While pictures of some faces haunt me…
the kind who greet you with wide smiles—big enough to hide their hearts behind)
laugh, reach out, enjoy family
I remind myself
(though memories stick
tearing through gossip like it was a present under their personal Christmas tree
as if knowledge of my pains and failures
were gifts to treasure.)
I tell myself:
No stiff hugs
No double entendres
(And I remember words that found their mark
as surely as if they had been shot
from an expert’s 22)
And try not to cry
On the way home
When your dirty tires
track some of the earth from the place you grew up
back to your own house
after the turkey is gone.
And that's the view from this catbird seat...
From: Through the Back Door of My Consciousness