Thanksgiving Eve, 2001

This poem appeared in the 9-11 anthology An Eye for an Eye Makes The Whole World Blind published by Regent Press available on Amazon.

Thanksgiving Eve, 2001

Today

I sort ruin,

lifting shards of concrete and shovels of rubble

picking up a bracelet attached to an arm attached to

nothing

which I carefully – reverently – place in a bag with a label

then pass to Mike

(who has a brother we hope to find)

who marches it to the refrigerated truck

waiting a block away.

Tomorrow

when they make me stay home,

before

I sit with my family

at the long table

heavy with turkey and stuffing and cranberries and mashed potatoes and gravy and

three types of pumpkin pie

where I will pretend to stuff myself while

distantly catching up on the lives of my sister’s family

who visits only every other year,

and before

going through the motions of chortling

with my brothers for the thousandth time about

the night we and four of the Stopich boys picked up

Mrs. Delanko’s VW Beetle and

set it on her front porch because she wouldn’t let

her daughter Amanda

go out with the remaining Stopich boy,

after which

I will retire to the family room to watch football and

eventually nod off

to be later awakened to say goodbyes and

dry dishes and

put kids to bed

then myself

to lay awake until the 5:00 alarm lets me

put on my digging clothes

and go back,

before all that

I’ll lead the grace.

I can’t imagine where I will begin.