Thanksgiving, as with most holidays, brings forth memories and feelings based upon our experiences. Most of us feel a warmth, a nostalgia for a time that probably never was. As the song says, “What’s too painful to remember, we simply choose to forget.” Each year, there is so much to be thankful for, so much to stop and appreciate, that my dear cousin and I wanted to take a moment to philosophize. (Cousin Craig)
We don’t actually know any of these people, and I’m certainly not related to any, at least as they are described here. Ok, maybe a few are familiar, in a distant sort of way. Whatever. A family without “odd” would be a family without stories, and I’m thankful that will never be the case with our family. Craigie is very clever, and I am grateful for his continuing contribution to Odd. If these poetic stanzas aren’t exactly right, it’s only because he sent them to me formatted all wonky and then walked away from his computer. I had no choice but to format them myself. Ha. If he sits across from a person who chews with his mouth open at Thanksgiving dinner, it will be poetic justice. But I am still grateful for him. (Cousin Katybeth)
There are so many people in the room!
The din is rising; it’s hard to construe.
There are some people we know we knew,
And some suffering from dementia too.
There’s my cousin over there!
See him with his stylish clothes and hair?
He’s got glamour; he’s got flair.
We know he won’t provide an heir.
My sister’s husband, his smile is clear,
Drinking his frosty mug of beer.
Why is he smiling and full of cheer?
He’s partially deaf and can’t hear.
Oh, my niece is such a treat!
She’s warm and bright and all-round neat.
I hope she’s sitting near my seat.
She’ll tell me gossip full of meat.
Can you hear the howling dogs?
There’s ten or twenty, plus a hog
Locked in the bedroom, a pet gulag!
The smells escape like a foul fog.
My uncle Tom’s a nifty tale,
Involving more than a little ale.
His nose is red; his skin is pale.
There’s no drug test he can’t fail.
Granny sits on top of the mess,
Nodding politely when addressed.
For most of us, she couldn’t care less,
But she not missing this meal, I guess!
There another cousin sitting,
Judging us all but rarely acquitting.
She’s got some yarn and says she’s knitting,
But with the needle, she keeps on hitting.
My niece’s husband is muscled and strong.
I don’t mean fat, don’t get me wrong.
He works out, both hard and long,
To look so tough and to wear that thong.
There sits our old friend Mark.
I miss him often, his laughing bark
And his grinning face, his stories dark.
He’s out of prison, the filthy narc!
Auntie holds court on the patio chairs.
Around her, children sit in pairs.
She smiles and rustles all their hair,
And tells them about the “Red Scare.”
My other nephew holds strange views.
He’s racist, fascist, and can’t stand Jews.
He can’t stay, he tells us true.
He’s got a clan meeting at half-past two.
My cousin Mona, what a strange one!
She once told me that we were done.
I ask what she meant and why did she run?
She thought I wanted to butter her bun.
So many more; too many to tell!
Some angels from heaven, but more from hell.
A few can’t read, and many can’t spell.
Most deserve a padded cell!
A rising sound is building and building,
And then, at last, it’s finally subsiding,
It’s time to end all the story telling,
And the gossiping and deriding.
The food has come, and we all gather round.
It’s better to eat with people you cannot stand
Than to act all superior, haughty, and grand.
After all, no one likes to be a lonely one-man band.
Wishing everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving.
Odd Loves Company,
Cousin Craig ~ Cousin Katybeth