Monday, November 29, 2010

a center

Thanksgiving & the Cabin

3 tables
14 chairs
all empty now
dark as night settles over us,
it’s the day after Thanksgiving,
only Joan and I here at the cabin,
one brother long gone from our presence,
not from my heart,
another brother wrapped in the arms of a new family,
my brother’s widow and her daughter off to another part of her family,
our children and grandchildren caught up in the worlds
their choices have brought about,
Joan’s sisters with their own lives which don’t land up here this time,

so for Thanksgiving this year we’re back to the basics,
me where I most feel home this season, and thankful,
with my wife who loves this place and me, and us together,
as we both are thankful for the other,

the tables stand empty for now,
I look at them and see my father at the head,
gone for almost 49 years,
and then I see and remember many more
who found this place a center for awhile
and who now have slipped away
in death & choice & circumstance,

much of what I do now is honor this shell
and work to keep it ready to hold those who come later,
so that this place can serve again and again
as a center to pull folks together,
and the tables will fill again and again,
as will the stomachs and the hearts of those around them.

by Henry Walker
November 26, ’10

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