Wednesday, November 23, 2005


Family Day

The day before Thanksgiving is our family
anniversary, a different date every year, which is
why Jay and I chose it when we went to the courthouse
in early December 27 years ago to declare
common law marriage.

We met at a poetry reading at Grok Books in Austin.
He was video taping the event.
OZ, introduced as Max Stamp,
is on that same tape, juggling, I think.

The day before Thanksgiving is also the first time
our adopted son spent the night in our home.

He celebrated his fourth birthday a few days
later by throwing his gifts at the guests
and pulling the dog’s ears.

Sometime before that, Jay invited me to dinner
the day before Thanksgiving
and I spent the night with him, repeatedly.

Today Jay is working on the washing machine
which has flooded the kitchen twice since
eleven o’clock last night.

I enjoy making our traditional family feast, using
my mother’s dressing, made with bread, celery,
onion, butter, giblets, not cornbread.

We serve dinner on Thanksgiving in the late afternoon
for whomever shows up. Left overs disappear
quickly the next few days, often in the form
of turkey hash which is fabulous.

Some of our more culturally aware friends
have re-named the holiday, Family Day,
to overcome the miscreant arrogance of our founders.

There is always something to be thankful for --
Jay is particularly fond of creamed onions.
I like the day long aroma.
And that we are alive.

But today there is something else to celebrate,
a small thing really, a "glitch" is what CNN called it when --

the day before yesterday, as the VP’s lips curled
around themselves snarling that we are unpatriotic

who demand answers to the Plame leak, cooked
intelligence about WMD’s, voter fraud, insider trading --

a huge black


appeared across his face.

No amount of bad news today can erase
the simple "HA" of that fast image.

It was wonderful to watch
the techie explain this happens in the normal
transition from shot to shot —
the one going out is X’ed as the new one
comes up, but their computers froze.

He said,
they were going to have to shut
the system down more often.

I agree completely,
and am off to toast
bread cubes.

©Susan Bright

Susan Bright is the author of nineteen books of poetry. She is the editor of Plain View Press which since 1975 has published one-hundred-and-fifty books. Her work as a poet, publisher, activist and educator has taken her all over the United States and abroad. Her most recent book, The Layers of Our Seeing, is a collection of poetry, photographs and essays about peace done in collaboration with photographer Alan Pogue and Middle Eastern journalist, Muna Hamzeh


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