Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Perk Poem: "All in the Family"

This is the participation perk poem for Winterfaire 2011.  All of these activities will unlock a verse each time someone does one of them:

* link to the Winterfaire page to boost the signal
* comment posting a Booth of your wares/services in the Winterfaire
* buy something from a vendor listed in the Winterfaire 
* host a similar holiday market in your own blog or other venue
LiveJournal will notify me of comments to this post and links to it elsewhere on LJ; for everything else, you need to TELL ME in order to get credit for it.

This poem belongs to the Monster House series and features the first Thanksgiving at Monster House. You can find other poems in the series on my Serial Poetry page.  Participants so far: wrenstarling, zianuray, moonwolf1988, je_reviens, fireun, swirvel42, ellenmillion

All in the Family

Our first Thanksgiving
taught us a lot about family.
The kitchen at my parents' house
was midway through remodeling,
so we invited my family over
to our house for dinner.

In the interest of sparing
everyone's sanity, I asked
the troll to stay in the basement
with the radiator dragon in the furnace,
the monster in the closet to join
his cousin under the bed,
the bogeyman to leave the pipes alone,
the lurking shadow to stick with the shadows,
and the little old lady ghost to be invisible,
as long as my relatives were visiting.

The turkey turned out fantastic,
accompanied by side dishes and desserts
from both sides of the family.
My parents loved our new house
and they got along fine with my girl.

I was the one
who stared at the motionless rocker,
who fumbled in the closet unable to find things,
who kept wondering if the silent pipes were okay.

As much as I enjoyed
seeing my parents and my brothers and sisters,
I couldn't help feeling incomplete
and my eyes stumbled over
the empty spaces in the room
and I felt cold even sitting beside the radiator.
We watched football,
and I missed the troll's commentary.
We watched a movie, too, and played Monopoly.
We talked about each other's lives
and I realized with a sudden pang
how much of mine I left out.

Later, after the guests had left,
I put my face in my hands and mumbled,
"I never want to do that again."

"It's all right," said my girl.
"Next year, their kitchen will be finished
and we can visit your family at their place."

"What about your family?" I asked.
She smiled.
"We can invite them over here.
They've been wanting to meet
the rest of our household."

"Hey, who wants turkey salad?"
yelled the monster in the closet.
"Can make egg salad, too,
if you'd rather."

"He's not seriously planning to make
egg salad from leftover deviled eggs, is he?"
asked my girl.

"It's surprisingly good," I said,
wandering into the kitchen.
The bogeyman was deftly deboning the turkey,
putting the bones in the stock pot
and the meat in a bowl,
while the monsters chopped celery
and measured mayonnaise.
The little old lady ghost had broken up
the remains of pumpkin pie and was now
layering them with whipped cream for pumpkin trifle.
The troll was nowhere in sight.

I yanked open the basement door
and called down the stairs,
"What are you waiting for?
Everyone else is in the kitchen!"
He trundled up the steps,
blinking in the light,
and was pressed into service
slicing the last of the homemade bread.

Soon the table was set
and the late-night feast all served.
"I am thankful for my family," I said,
meeting their eyes around the table,
"Each and every one of you."

Tags: cyberfunded creativity, fantasy, holiday, poem, poetry, reading, writing

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