I have celebrated while wind rocked our cliffside camper
with ocean views and barking sea lions.
Grandma's patient smile as we played cards
in the warm, small inside.
I have roasted turkey while feeling cooked
in a silver Tallahassee trailer
where there was no cool breeze to invite through the windows
sweating through my doubts hour by hour.
I have welcomed friends, folks, and yet to know arrivals
to my table that was extended, folding out into the living room
mismatched plates, chairs, and napkins set with open invitation
because all, meant all being in one circle of faces.
I have driven from afar to a crisp outside Autumn feast
appetizers of touch football complete with commentary
by the elder generation, and orange-warm grins around a fire pit
concluding with pie topped with fishing stories
where we laughed until we cried.
This day is never the same
I am grateful for this, non-tradition.
That my expectations are not there
to choke out the one constant,
the Thanksgiving that I continue to hold
memories of love that never fail
to show up on this day.
© Ali Grimshaw 2020
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