Thanksgiving| Stuffed with Memories| a Poem|


Every morning I remember waking up

To a house that smelled like turkey

I couldn’t wait to get up and

Watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade

Black and White

Later it was on a Color TV

Did I ever tell my children we had one of those

It wasn’t high definition

It wasn’t flat screen

The only chips I knew of were

Ruffles that came with

Onion dip and one other

The one I can’t remember

Because I didn’t like it

That came out

Much later that day

I loved imagining what the floats

Really looked like as they

Floated by

Huge

Majestic

Free

Way up high

In the sky

No boundaries or limitations

My Mom

Living the American dream

A housewife proclaimed to have

Married her first

In 1949

When I ran to the kitchen

Gobble Gobble, Cindy Marie

Sometimes it was, Clara

Although I never knew why

Too late to find out now

She never seemed happy

About holidays

Why don’t you like holidays, Mommy?

When she told me she said

She wanted us to stay home

She didn’t say it was because of the drinking

I forgot to tell you

Later we would go to my Aunt’s

Where I couldn’t wait to see all my cousins

My aunts and uncles

For awhile, my Gramps and Nana

Where there was even more drinking

I’m starting to feel sad

That’s not the kind of sad I want

But in the morning

I woke up early

Helping Mom in the kitchen

Using the potato peeler

Meant for a righthand

Awkwardly

Backwards

With my lefthand

With the carrots

With the potatoes

Snapping peas

Trimming green beans

Washing iceberg lettuce

Washing celery

Spreading cream cheese

Spreading peanut butter

Why did it always clump

If it was hydrogenated?

Watching her cook

Licking the hand eggbeaters with eggnog

Yummy home made eggnog

Made with so much love

Just for me

Sprinkled with cinnamon

A loving look in her eyes

I can still smell her hair

Teased and sprayed

With aqua net

I wish she didn’t smoke

Would she still be here now

If she hadn’t smoked?

Or was it after he left

When she metaphorically developed

4th degree burns

As she had to carve a life in the work world

Is that why she never forgave him

She traded off her life

Did what a good housewife was supposed to

And he left

I’m feeling sad again

I want to remember watching Mom

With the big dark brown hair

And big smile

She wore on her face

Whenever she was happy

Especially when we were alone together

And wearing one of the two aprons her Mom made her

On the antique sewing machine

I now have in my tiny apartment

Because I left my intolerable situation

Because I didn’t want to end up like her

Because I didn’t want my children to see what I saw

They saw more than they needed to see

But I’m starting to feel a different kind of pain again

I want to go deep in the recesses in my mind

To the carefree childhood memories

Back to the

Homemade rice pudding

That Mom folded raw egg into

Now we’re warned not to

I want to go back to

Making the green jello

Or red or orange my choice

With marshmallows and bananas

Sometimes cloudy with peaches

I want to help Mom make the

Homemade pumpkin pies

And have her roll out for me

The extra dough

And let me sprinkle it with

Sugar and cinnamon and roll it up

And bake it in the oven

The smell of it in my memory

Instead of the pain

I am feeling now

The pain I know my Mom felt

What was it that she always told me

I was happiest when my children were little

Yes, Mom, I remember you smiling

I remember you trying

You did everything you could

I wish I could tell you now

Crusts from scratch

Store bought biscuits

Homemade everything

You cooked all day

Cooked away the thought

Of the drinking

The yeilling

The rage

humiliation

name calling

irrational behavior

fear

the tears

the smell of fear

My Mom and I watched the parade

(The Rose Bowl Parade on New Year’s Day too)

What did she see?

Freedom in the sky?

Clear blue skies — on a black and white tv —

White fluffy clouds

Soft like cotton

Swirled like paint on a canvas;

Or gooey like marshmallow topping

The kind she loved

On her ice cream

Or was it just freedom that you feel

When people gather together

United for a cause

Strength

Courage

Freedom parade

Freedom marches

Interconnectedness

Did you feel that too, Mom

Like I always do

Maybe just a touch of that too, Mom?

Did you feel free when you watched

The floats?

The excitement I still feel

When I see a parade

The pomp & circumstance

The excitement in the crowd

The artist & creativity

Seeing the endless possibilities

The interconnectedness

And the sheer delight of the reaction

On the crowd’s faces

As they get caught up in the

Beauty of it all

Or was it me?

Didn’t she say

This was the best time

When we were little

Mom how could you stand it?

Mom I’m so sorry you thought you had to stay

The alcohol induced states

The yelling

Swearing

His breath

the flash temper when he wasn’t drunk

he was meaner when he wasn’t drunk

the rage

he drove us!

I hear the crying

The trembling

Wait!!! That’s me

Mom, did you want to hide too?

Did you use your imagination too?

So much fear

No wonder you always were worrying

What would happen next!

Every holiday!!

Like a hunter is signalled Duck Season

An alcoholic is signaled holidays, Drunk Season

He became mean

Or was that meaner

Dingbat, dummy, stupid, those are the nice ones

Humiilliation

Broken bones heal

Word rage seems

To leave a semi-permanent scar

On you

Like it does burn victims

It did her

Started as first degree

She went back

Second degree

Because she stayed

Third degree

After he left

It became

Fourth degree after he left

walking back into my kitchen

Of my childhood

The one filled with

dreams

and memories

some good some bad

mostly good

filled with so much love

and hope for the future the kind

that you want

all the best that life has to offer

her loving eyes sparkling with hope

as she turns and smiles at me

wishing that things will be better for me

and my children

Then — Mommy, when will the parade be on?

Now — Mom, I just want to sit in your lap

And watch the parade with you

Like we used to

Then — Mommy, the turkey woke me up.

She laughs — I always made her laugh.

She says, Gobble Gobble.  It’s Tom the Turkey.

Mommy, the turkey sure smells good!

I can’t wait to lick the whip cream off the egg beaters

Can I Mommy, please?

tags:

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About mindfulnesswalks

Publicist| Citizen Journalist| Host| Mindfulness Walks| Virtual Cafe|Poet| Writer| Artist
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