Dear God, 

please don’t let me throw up.

Rudy’s Uncle S is driving his mom’s CRV,

like Mario Andretti cruising down Henry Hudson Parkway.

“Please slow down,” I pleaded.

“We don’t have seatbelts in the back seat…”

Rudy’s mom is almost comatose;

she’s the navigator. And Aunt J

is hanging her head out of the car,

as if she was a 10-year-old girl in Haifa.

We don’t feel well. We ate too much—

Turkey, 4 kinds of salad, cranberry sauce,

green beans & mushrooms, rice & mushrooms,

pumpkin soup, pumpkin pie, apple cake,

& a cake shaped like a dinosaur.  

A feast for the gods!

Rudy’s mom: “This may be the last 

Thanksgiving dinner I’ll make.”

She’s been saying this for years.

Now, she doesn’t want to cross Central Park alone.

But Uncle S still speeds on 5th Ave,

& Aunt J is still nauseated,

& Rudy sits in the middle,

trying not to create another argument.

I hold on, white-faced,

unto the seat for dear life—

hoping that this last great meal

will stay down.   

As we gather together during cool mornings,

the coffee percolates! 

The pumpkins outside still smile

with toothy grins. The kids sip hot apple cider; 

the coffee percolates.

Daddy scrubs the pans clean.

With toothy grins, the kids sip hot apple cider 

as Mom bakes pumpkin pies. 

Daddy scrubs the pans clean 

while ignoring all the Christmas ads & merchandise.

As Mom bakes pumpkin pies,

we say our daily prayers

while ignoring all the Christmas ads & merchandise.

The pumpkins outside still smile.

We say our daily prayers

as we gather together during cool mornings.