Thursday, November 24, 2011

For Jean

I will tell you this about Thanksgiving. It is the day when she bursts into the house, flinging the doors wide, the bite of winter swirling at her back. Potatoes spill out of her hands. Pecan pies, ginger crèmes, peas and onions. She thrusts both hands in, no gloves, and mashes the potatoes with her palms, delicate wrist bones, strong fingers pushing flesh out of skin. She cooks, sings, spins across the kitchen floor, graceful in a way that does not come easily. This family has been damaged … torn apart and thrust together, asked to forgive things we do not want to name. She collects our secrets, our sadness, our old miseries. Free of the burden we don’t think to ask where she has stored them. The moment passes. She asks us to sit, to bow our heads. We eat with her prayer ringing in our ears. Her request for grace.