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Thread: Reconciliation

  1. #1
    Inexplicably Undiscovered
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    Jun 2007
    next door to the lady in the vinegar bottle
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    Another Thanksgiving repeat, from 11/26/13


    More logs will be thrown on the fire
    without adding fuel to the flames.
    Tamp down the latent gas and ire.
    Try to recall the children’s names.

    It was not difficult
    coming here.
    Some obligations
    are easier to meet
    than others. Paying
    attention to the Mass
    on TV: does that count?

    Watching The Parade
    from a well-cushioned couch
    is not The Real Thing,
    not at all the same
    as craning my neck
    above a crowded curb,
    while the icy wind
    burns my face
    and invades my bones
    as the brass-blare
    tickles my inner ear,
    and the drumbeat burrows
    deep into my heart.

    Repeat the anecdotes and jokes.
    Hold up your end of the chatter.
    No lectures on the drinks and smokes,
    nor fights about What Really Matters.

    I’m thankful for inclusion
    among this company gathered
    for a revved-up meal. Sufficiency seems
    like abundance, an overflowing
    cornucopia spilling out the fruits
    of a half-forgotten past.

    It’s good to get out for the day,
    away from the forever-so-humble digs
    with the old, familiar plywood panels,
    the plaster crumbs, and the gaps
    letting in scores of unwanted things.

    The porous walls reek of unsettled sounds
    from the good-looking couple on the floor above,
    up and at it all night
    with the shouts and the squabbling,
    the rumbling and the thuds.
    They’re much too young to battle this much.

    “What have they got to fight about?”
    complains the busybody from 3-G.
    She has a late-model car and a live-in beau.
    Also, curiosity. So many questions!
    But I’m not really sure she knows my name.

    The tight-lipped guy who lives downstairs–-
    the one who thinks he can play bass guitar- -
    resents it when I try to say hello.
    Once he yanked the pudgy arm
    of his friendly, joint-custody son
    and tugged the toddler back inside.

    Of all the wild wars waged against a Noun,
    The War on Poverty was first, Number One.
    Fighting the good fight, oppressed, broke, and down,
    we fought a War on Poverty. And Poverty won.

    For ever I have scaled the “Ladder
    of Opportunity,” on call,
    each time slipping, getting madder.
    The thud, always. Always, a fall.
    (Which never really surprised me at all.)

    All of us love to say
    we hate personal drama,
    although we seek it
    like a drug.

    Somehow we have to make peace,
    patch up the past,
    tacitly come to terms

    with a universe that would
    just as soon turn its back
    on us as smack us down
    with a what’s-it-to-me shrug.

    Yet here we are
    in this shared world

    where nutmeg smells
    as good to a pauper
    as it does to a CEO,

    where little fingers
    sketch turkeys that look
    like peacocks, the colors
    of their fanned-out feathers
    primal and bold,

    where the unexpected
    sight of soft snow
    upon dead leaves
    can catch one’s breath,
    puffing out like a ghost
    in the chilly night air.

    Offer help with the greasy chore;
    rinse that glass dry-flecked with foam.
    Don’t linger too long at the door.
    Just say your good-night and go home.

    Go home.
    Last edited by AuntShecky; 11-26-2015 at 12:41 PM.

  2. #2
    Maybe YesNo's Avatar
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    Oct 2010
    Near Chicago, Illinois USA
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    It is good to avoid "fights about What Really Matters". I agree. The war on poverty was lost, but nutmeg does smell as good to a pauper as a CEO.

    Nice poem.

  3. #3
    Registered User tailor STATELY's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Gold Country
    Kremnothplail !

    A feast for the eyes; a fine retrospective. Somehow I don't recall this gem and I am grateful that you have shared it with us once more.

    "we fought a War on Poverty. And Poverty won." There's a level of transcendence in this line that brings me hope that I shan't elaborate upon beyond saying there are other wars being fought. The last and penultimate lines, however, brings me sadness - albeit, surely, your sanity.

    Enjoyed (and enjoy) the celebration of thanks with mass quantities; xoxoff.

    Ta ! (short for tarradiddle),
    tailor STATELY
    Last edited by tailor STATELY; 11-26-2015 at 03:20 PM.

    who am I but a stitch in time
    what if I were to bare my soul
    would you see me origami


  4. #4
    Inexplicably Undiscovered
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    next door to the lady in the vinegar bottle
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    Thank you. Yes/No and Tailor S.: A few months after I wrote this ditty, I was watching a news show which featured an old file tape with a politician saying the same line about poverty. And all this time I thought it was original! One nuanced
    difference, though, the pol's tone was cynical, whereas the speaker in this piece was rueful.

  5. #5
    Clinging to Douvres rocks Gilliatt Gurgle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Thanks for the repeat Aunty, thankfully I caught it this time around.
    Actually, I read it over this past Thanksgiving and meant to post something then, anyhow a brilliant piece, I was moved by it.
    thanks for sharing.
    "Mongo only pawn in game of life" - Mongo

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