this past turkey day
for Robert Alan Sutton
25 May 1962 to 17 July 2000

By David Sutton

i wanted to do something different
instead of uttering a conventional blessing
we would consecrate our holiday victuals with a poem
"thanksgiving" by ralph waldo emerson
as my wife and children stood behind their chairs
i opened a book of verse with an air of solemnity
and then tried to read aloud but could not
my thoughts were about my youngest brother robert
who passed away during the previous summer
after a short bout with a cancer
that refused to sit quietly in his left lung
and respond to chemo and radiation
my father and mother and all of us kids
attended to him at the veterans' hospital in omaha
one of us was by his bed at all times
until his body was too weak to breathe
sadness washes over me at odd times
and is prompted by strange things
like the smell of turkey and dressing
a learned teacher one said
the depth of your grief equals the depth of your love
i say, amen to that


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