November 28, 2013


It is so beautifully diverse 
In opinion
In look
And still so almost-similar
These tenths of percentages of difference
That separate he from his aunt
Create enough space by which
Love and real care can flood in
A life enveloped in family is a life worth living
The lofty pursuits of career and culture
Are not unlike chasing the elusive first high
The needle never feels as good the second, third, fourth, or fifth time around
The pills never as potent 
I don't speak from experience 
But all who have raged with those demons
Say the same thing:
The first taste is the best. 
Yet family can age and transform
And seeing a cousin weep in front of us
Over her lost sister
The prayer, over our food,
Looks in both directions:
Thank You for what we will eat
And use to work on our future benefit
And at the same token
Thank You for the gift 
Of all those before
Those silent, large-looming figures
Such as Gabriel, or in my own life,
Who are the backs upon which we stand. 
It is beautiful the way we as a people remember
The way breaking bread with our blood
Seems to be instinctive and necessary
I return home full of not only belly but of life
A slice of pie in an otherwise insular group of people
The laughter is sincere
The well wishes are doubly so
So today, Donald and Delia
I toast to your memory
Not a holiday will ever go by 
Where you aren't thought of
And deeply missed. 
The family to me is fascinating
In it's inability for me to read
The family is not something we chose
These groups of people are thrown together without any other criteria than genetics
And from this connection
Comes support
Boundless selflessness
And respect. 
We check in with those elder than us
And bask in our achievements
I marvel at their wisdom
Their prowess for cooking
Their ability to mean what they say
To say what they mean. 
Layla, I hope more than anything at this moment
That your sister and Gabriel are indeed enjoying Thanksgiving somewhere "up there" as you put it
You deserve it, as do they
And today of all days,
I am so thankful to have shared a table
With your beautiful family
While I think of my own
And it's own beautiful moments 
And diverse people. 
Family is all we've got
And it's all we need. 

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