Stilted Conversations.

by Poet on the Piano   Nov 25, 2013

Dinner was late today, swinging out at 7 pm
with my mother commenting that the lasagna
had too much cheese and too little meat.

Eyes met fine silverware, the ones only dusted
off for relatives staying over.
Everything felt strained though...
I wish I didn't have to be so attentive to all the
noises made, produced sloppily in dim lights
while food became a detonating time bomb.

I didn't have much space left to breathe
without scents hovering over thoughts.

The men had three distinct ways of eating:
first, my father, the grizzly bear.
I call him this though I know nothing
of the species; he is heavyset
and always expecting a surplus.
I get anxious being around him,
how his eyes seem aggressive,
his thumbs twirling,
attacking twenty spinach leaves
with utensils so he can work
his mouth more efficiently.

Second, my brother, the eager beaver.
My fingers dig into my thigh and my
head twitches as I hear his teeth
clank clack clank clack.
He chews the breadsticks so hastily
I am tempted to keep record...
he finishes the plate halfway
through dinner for it's a secret
mission he must accomplish.

Third, my relative, the reserved turtle,
hunched over his food to protect
and analyze the share he received,
or because it is his only guaranteed

It's near Thanksgiving and I know I should
be grateful for full stomachs but I haven't
reached that point yet.

I'd rather have blackened teeth from coffee
overloads than sweat through another
ten course meal.

Written 11/24/13 @ 8:28 PM


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Latest Comments

  • 6 years ago

    by Britt

    Judging comment:

    What an interesting, observant write! I love the descriptive nature of this poem and how in depth the write got. I, too, cringed when she talked of the eager beaver brother eating, the noises and irritations came through the poem and I felt them! Thanksgiving can really bring out some interesting things, topics, and conversations with people, but just sitting back and people watching is the really intriguing part of family gatherings. There is such a sense of awkwardness in this poem that I've definitely experienced, and I felt really connected to it. Very interesting spin on a Thanksgiving poem

  • 6 years ago

    by Meena Krish

    Thanks giving is time to be together and thankful for everything and everyone around but I guess some gatherings just gets over the top!

    Liked the home atmosphere you have painted in the poem with a touch of humor. Congrats on the win.

  • 6 years ago

    by Maple Tree

    I have a reserved turtle in my family as well... :-) Oh how I truly adore this piece Mary Anne... I love it!! You had me from start to finish! well done sweets <3

  • 6 years ago

    by Tara Kay

    Congratulations on the win!!

  • 6 years ago

    by Sincuna

    I don't celebrate thanksgiving where I am but I have heard stubborn yet funny stories about them, how sitting down with your extended family has seemed to be the most awkward or cringeworthy moment of the year. This one showed humor and I enjoyed the prose feel throughout. I could relate well with the dusted off plates and utensils as well, as my mom would do the same only when there are visitors around.

    The ending seemed to make me want more though, it didn't feel to satisfying. I wanted an extra stanza maybe, just simply stating why the speaker would rather have been alone drinking endless amounts of coffee... possibly writing, (since it was hinted the speaker loves to reflect and observe), amongst other possible things.

    Still a very neat write.

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