In the breath between turkey, honey glazed ham, cheesy mashed, pecan sweet (minus the miniature marshmallows), boxed stuffing, green beans almondine, Brussels sprouts with bacon, sweet Italian salad with provolone and Aunt June’s seven layer salad before the chaos of pies—pumpkin loaded with real whipped cream, French silk chocolate, minty sheet cake with vanilla buttercream frosting, red and green winter Oreos and multiple flavors of ice cream the seconds filled with silence, burps, farts, the occasional yummy.
As the grown-ups lean back in their chairs Desi jumps up from the kids’ table continues his earlier flight—running running twirling Superman his arms stretched behind him become his cape as he circles us counterclockwise faster and faster around the round glass table like it was the Earth and he was turning back time. Rocketing to a stop directly in front of me, his eyes come into focus, he sees me, places his warm mocha hand gently on my face, leans in and kisses me, his lips chapped and cracking and then wham—he launches back to his trajectory. The sound of his feet on tile. We women hop up and clear the tables.
me to buy a
new tree. Buy 8
sets of LED lights,
buy shopping carts full
of ornaments, some glass,
some plastic, for the little ones
to pull and throw. Buy a new tree
skirt. Buy all the presents that will fit
snugly underneath. Buy ornament hangers,
buy tinsel, buy garland.
I unearth crisp white rolls of construction
paper, double-ended art markers, glittery
gel pens, 152 crayons—every shade in
the Crayola palette, foam stickers, tape. We
outline a tree, add rough branches, we sparkle green
glitter, connect tree trunk to branches. My brother-in-law
supervises, clears a place to hang it. We whip up
ornaments—gold foam stars, neon blue snowflakes, hand-painted
snowmen. We hang the tree by the fireplace. Sharpie our names
by height as my niece arrives with her three boys. They trace hands on
construction paper, cut them out, hang them on the tree. Another
niece arrives puts on a blinky pink sequined Santa hat, traces her son’s hand. A
friend glues a huge star—gaudy and not-quite dry atop our tree, puts presents underneath.
HER CANDY CANE PARKA
below cropped vanilla cardigan
her thumb slowly
stroking her navel
she strolls down
a Hot Pot
Widely published Laura LeHew’s collections include: Buyer’s Remorse (forthcoming Tiger’s Eye Press—Infinities) poems on abuse, Buyer’s Remorse (forthcoming from Tiger’s Eye Press—Infinities) poems on abuse, Becoming (Another New Calligraphy) a non-linear discourse on alcoholism and dementia, Willingly Would I Burn, (MoonPath Press) themed around math and science, It’s Always Night, It Always Rains, (Winterhawk Press) murder/noir and Beauty (Tiger’s Eye Press) fairy tales. Laura received her MFA from CCA, co-hosts a reading series, Poetry for the People, owns/edits Uttered Chaos, a small press which publishes books of poetry by NW writers. She knows nothing of gardens or gardening but is well versed in the cultivation of cats. Find her here: utteredchaos.org * lauralehew.com * facebook.com/laura.lehew * facebook.com/Poetry-for-the-People-1594246854190029/