Abhorrence and Glory


As in waiting for the light to change

Or, waiting breathlessly in a corps of dancers for the curtain to rise

Or climbing the walls while a once again drunk relative makes yet another mindlessly insipid toast

Remembering those who could not join us for these holidays

Those who have crossed over before us. Without us.


We collectively hold our breath while Uncle Seaward becomes angry

He begins a diatribe coupled with punching the air in combat

Rising and falling, his voice quickening and cracking

His glass eye remains fixed

While his good eye cries hot tears of loss.


And Brother, home from Vietnam, his wild eyes darting, seeks an escape

Aunt Gail weeps silently

While Papa holds a steady gaze looking from person to person

Hoping to hold on

Just hold on.


We call on patience to see us through

To make another memory of family

Gathering and accepting each others’ struggles

Please.  Pass the bread pudding.