thanksgiving feather

Credit: photodictionary

During this season, it is natural for us to think about our blessings and gratitudes; and in the case of women incarcerated during holiday seasons, what we most miss at this time of year. For the  next several posts, we’ll share some of the more poignant writings from the women at Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility in Burlington, VT as they remember, yearn, mourn or feel relief at their distance from family this week.

Opened door, coats taken and hung
so many it becomes a balancing act,
an architectural puzzle of how to fit
them all on the rack

Hugs all around, eight aunts, eight uncles
30-something cousins
hellos, how are you’s, what have you been up to’s

Hors d’oeuvres set out, wine bottles opened, beers cracked
children scattering around the yard

Tables set, dishes heated, the laughter and
chatter and cheer from the game on the wide screen

And then comes the time to sit for dinner –
but first our tradition, the most important of family traditions:
the construction paper turkey where we each receive a feather
to write what it is we are grateful for

Then before we begin our feast, we each receive
another’s feather, read it aloud and try to guess
who wrote what

 I always used to dread the cheesy feather game
thinking ‘only my family,’ ‘we’re lunatics,’
‘how embarrassing!’

But now that is what I am most grateful for . . .
the symphonic chaos of our clan
the unorchestrated dance in the kitchen
the unconditional love, the feast; and yes

even the feather.


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