Thanksgiving Dinner

My Grandma holds my mug that says “Best Friends Forever, Never Apart, Maybe in Distance But Never By Heart.”

My best friend Brian gave that to me last year.

I haven’t spoken to him since.

Later I asked my Grandma who her best friend was. 

She looked at my Grandpa with soft eyes.

 

My Mom sits next to my Grandma.

She’s sharing a prayer before dinner about how blessed we are

My Aunt is nodding her head because this year she got out of rehab 

And now drinks virgin apple cider.

Later I asked my Aunt what she thinks will be different about her life in a year from now.

She says she’ll be more spiritual.

 

My cousin sits at the other end of the table.

She has her hands in her lap, food on her plate.

She looks at my uncle, her dad, trying to mirror his smile or scowl.

Later someone asked her what religion she practices.

She refuses to answer, though she goes to church every Sunday.

 

I sit with my hands clinging to my glass which is a mixture of rum, sambuca, and un presidente.

It tastes like crap.

My dad doesn’t know I’m trying all these drinks at once.

Later someone asked me if I know what I want to do when I’m out of college.

I laughed, shook my head, and took a swig my bitter cocktail.

 

During Thanksgiving, I started noticing little details around the dinner table. The first was the mug that my friend gave me about always staying together, though I later cut him off because he was toxic. This realization gave a whole new meaning to the mug and distracted me for a lot of the dinner. The whole time I was just noticing small details and seeing how they all connected. I also noticed that my family kept bringing up religion so I used Catholicism as a way to connect all the details I noticed and make a poem. However, the idea of objects and people having more than one story came to fruition through this poem. In short, people and objects are complex. They are not one adjective or line or memory; rather they are an intricate and layered species that has all their own idiosyncrasies, impulses, motives, dreams, relationships, etc.. Therefore, through the admiration of smalls things, I have learned how to not fill in the blanks of a person with one story I know about them; rather, I try to withhold judgments by leaving the blanks ambiguous. In other words, I try to give the benefit of the doubt. So, even though it is not the lesson of the poem necessarily, my big takeaway was to start to value/take into consideration the inner workings of a person that might not be as apparent as their displayed persona.