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After Thanksgiving

it’s so quiet here now,
children and grandchildren all gone,
their little dog too.
living room piled with plates and debris,
no one here but me
in my old robe with my own old dog
curled up by the empty fireplace.

one becomes superfluous.

I did not cook a turkey this year
because of the constant comings and goings
because I hate turkeys
because I’m too old.
why give thanks for the land we stole
by killing a bird and eating it?
I made pad thai.
everything was miscellaneous.

but I’m thinking about the necessity of ritual,
how it has two parts,
the ritual itself, and the policing of that ritual,
to make sure that its finer points are observed.
I want a spontaneous ritual,
which of course is impossible.
I want for each carefully practiced act
never to be repeated.

But I miss everyone, and the silence is too loud.

Journals publishing Janet McCann’s work include Kansas Quarterly,
Parnassus, Nimrod, Sou'Wester, America, Christianity and Literature,
New York Quarterly, Tendril, and others.. A 1989 NEA Creative Writing
Fellowship winner, she taught at Texas A & M University from 1969-
2016, is now Professor Emerita. She has co-edited anthologies with
David Craig, Odd Angles of Heaven (Shaw, 1994), Places of Passage
(Story Line, 2000), and Poems of Francis and Clare (St. Anthony
Messenger, 2004). Most recent poetry collection: The Crone at the
Casino (Lamar University Press,  2014).

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Previously published in Eleventh Transmission:
"fake stucco mixed use, e. cesar chavez" by Henry Brown.

Published December 22, 2019

Special Project: 45 Poems of Protest

After Thanksgiving

by Janet McCann
(College Station, Texas, USA)
Eleventh Transmission: "After Thanksgiving" by Janet McCann
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