Nebraska Center for Writers

HOLIDAY FAMILY
by Richard Dinges Jr

No one has arrived
on a gust of wind against the door.
The turkey sizzles impatiently
and whispers aromas to mix
with pumpkin pie and sweet
potatoes. Steam seeps
into still air and disappears.
The house holds empty words,
separated from family
who appear only on holidays.
Preparation of food, the only
task, fills time. Now done,
only the wait remains,
with its slow stiffening
and the worry that there is enough
to eat to keep mouths busy.
Too full for words to start
that impart more reason
that no one will return again
for yet another year,
I search the cupboards
for something else to cook.

Reprinted with permission
from Banyan Review
Copyright © Summer 2006
by Richard Dinges Jr


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