Friday, December 04, 2009

A Family Thanksgiving - an original poem

Today, an original poem for Poetry Friday. As I mentioned yesterday, this poem is a villanelle. For an explanation of the form (and a template if you are so inclined), you can check out yesterday's post.

I wrote this poem because Liz Scanlon roped me into it over a month ago, along with the rest of us who wrote sonnets together last year. 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. Who can say why?

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.


You can find the other villanelles here:

Tanita Davis
Sara Lewis Holmes
Andromeda Jazmon
Laura Purdie Salas
Liz Garton Scanlon
Tricia Stohr-Hunt



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