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Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving Dinner

Home for the holiday from New Orleans,
with Mother and Father at the tiny
drop leaf, brown rosewood, mahogany
table with the gold, grinning claw feet;
Father, choler- red-in the-face, short-
sleeved white shirt and cane, says the blessing
as Mother brings in the turkey and cranberry.
Then Mother asks, " Won't you have more ?' and father :
"Do you think Moll Flanders was a whore ?"

(I have suffered and bleached my hair blond. )
I am silent before their replies.
Mother sighs. "I can scarce speak to her."
And Father, too, quotes Shakespeare. (I am thin
as paper and the rose- colored bowl
of blown glass sitting on the silver stand,
half- filled with water. )

" How shaper than a serpent's tooth it is
to have a thankless daughter "

© Mario Vitale
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