We Are Gathered Here Together

He orders black coffee,

soup and salad,

steak and potatoes

before his apple pie dessert

at buffets on the other side of town


A routine meal

that would years later

be remembered

as his reward


Dad loves on his Alaskan crab legs

with a side of melted butter

While Mom orders chicken

at a seafood restaurant

She doesn’t offer to pay

while Auntie tells us

don’t take it for granted,

she should say ‘Thanks’


A routine meal

that would years later

be remembered

as our meals together


The holidays arrive suddenly,

every holiday

Our family rushes off to Sunday service

Was this excursion a last-minute decision?

Is the calendar right? Always arriving late,

we discreetly sneak into the pews. 

With a family of five, surely no one will notice.


A routine holiday

that years later

be remembered

as our holidays together


Every year, 

every holiday,

every birthday,

the same restaurants,

the same routine.


But at least we gathered

in familiar ways, we knew

what was to come.

We could count on those

familiar moments.


Now we look back

without the chance to relive 

all those memories,

without the words of togetherness

without the bickering

without the reconciling

No more chasing each other around the yard

All that is left are these memories

While isolating from our high strung family


Now we pass the memories on 

while making new ones;

new choices of restaurants, 

holidays, vacations

and promises of not being late

And yet, some things will remain

I’ll keep the same dessert

in honor of my grandparents

whose struggles deserve to be rewarded

with a slice of warm apple pie


◄ Endless Night

Let Me Bother You ►


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Thu 7th May 2020 19:17

The longest poem to date in memory of my family.

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