kellyrfineman (kellyrfineman) wrote,
kellyrfineman
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A Family Thanksgiving - a Poetry Friday post

Today, an original poem which I wrote in 2009 in response to a challenge issued by Liz Garton Scanlon. The challenge was not simply to write any villanelle, but to use the words thanksgiving and friends in the first and third lines. I wrote mine during the ramp-up to Thanksgiving, and I couldn't help overhearing various and sundry people (some strangers, some friends) kvetch about how much they didn't want to go to their in-laws again, or how they hated a particular relative who always ____________(fill in the blank – examples include: drinks too much, starts a fight, shows up late, doesn't help cook and/or clean-up, tries to help cook and/or clean-up but gets in the way, and more).

This is what I came up with, and for some reason, it came out in the voice of a 13-year old boy. At least, that's how I hear it in my head.

A Family Thanksgiving
by Kelly Ramsdell Fineman

Thanksgiving is "the day that never ends":
At least that's what my parents always say.
I wish that I could spend the day with friends.

My mom, freaked-out cook that she is, expends
Her energy by panicking all day.
Thanksgiving is a day that never ends.

My stupid cousin's here. He always bends
My arm behind my back; he claims it's "play".
I wish that I could spend my day with friends.

My dad fights with his father, which offends
My grandmother, who hollers in dismay.
Thanksgiving is a day that never ends.

There's so much food, the table nearly bends.
My brother elbows me out of his way.
I wish that I could spend my day with friends.

Before dessert, the pumpkin pie upends,
My favorite part of this dumb holiday.
Thanksgiving is a day that never ends
I wish that I could spend my day with friends.


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Tags: fineman, original poems, poetry friday, villanelle
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