Family Reunion by Maxine KuminThe week in August you come home,adult, professional, aloof,we roast and carve the fatted calf—in our case home-grown pig, the chinegarlicked and crisped, the applesaucehand-pressed. Hand-pressed the greengage wine.
Nothing is cost-effective here.The peas, the beets, the lettuceshand sown, are raised to stand apart.The electric fence ticks like the slow heartof something we fed and bedded for a year,then killed with kindness’s one bulletand paid Jake Mott to do the butchering.
In winter we lure the birds with suet,thaw lungs and kidneys for the cat.Darlings, it’s all a circle from the ringof wire that keeps the raccoons from the cornto the gouged pine table that we lounge around,distressed before any of you was born.
Benign and dozy from our gluttonies,the candles down to stubs, defenses down,love leaking out unguarded the wayjuice dribbles from the fence when groundedby grass stalks or a forgotten hoe,how eloquent, how beautiful you seem!
Wearing our gestures, how wise you grow,ballooning to overfill our space,the almost-parents of your parents now.So briefly having you back to measure usis harder than having let you go.
Click here to view a list of some other great thanksgiving poems that are great entertainment for the family at dinner this year. Click the name of the poems to see the full poem on the Poetry Foundations website.