She wanted to speak, but the words wouldn’t come.
They stuck in her mind like pavement to gum.
Release me, release me the words cried today.
I’m afraid, she said, as she held them at bay.
We will be heard, they told her with force.
She shook her head to quiet their source.
They rattled around in the core of her brain,
But got up again and began to raise Cain.
Leave me alone, she shouted out loud.
They mocked her and told her they came in a crowd.
So even if caught and turned out to sea,
Others would come and one day be free.
It must be the holidays because I’ve just written a poem with the same meter as ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. Good Lord.
My usually introspective self typically becomes more reflective during the holiday season, and I believe this poem officially crosses the line to brooding. However, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year, and Teresa and I once again look forward to making the trip to the Upstate to spend an evening with her family in the recreation hall of the First Baptist Church of Fingerville, South Carolina. Even if I didn’t love her family, I’d go to a Baptist Church with that name.
To everything there is a season, and this is the season for being thankful before the madness that is Christmas and New Year’s Day overwhelms us. My wish for each of you is the familiar admonition to count your blessings and name them one by one. And if there are words you want or need to say to someone, set them free.
From our family to yours – have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!
I published this originally in 2013 and read it now with fresh eyes and less brooding, but still sadness for the losses of many friends and family members to Covid in the past year including three of Pretty’s aunts (Iris, Thelma and Cooter) who always made our Thanksgiving experience at the First Baptist Church of Fingerville a special time. We give thanks for them today, and I dedicate this post to their memories.