Point of Contention (an acrostic poem)

Perhaps it wasn’t a good idea to meander in his explanation

Of course he should have decided that about ten minutes ago

Instead, here he was, and even he knew he was mucking up the whole thing

Now he stopped speaking and held his breath, hoping she would let it pass

That’s when he became the punch line, literally, and she knew how to hit


Ouch, but that was not the worst of it

For that’s when she turned and stomped out of his life leaving him in a hard place


Considering she took with her the engagement ring as a consolation prize

Obviously she wanted to hurt him in the pocketbook as well

Not like this was the first time they had had a major disagreement

To tell you truth he felt more like the victim in this situation

Even her sister had taken his side in the dispute

Now that could be because she was a bit biased

The fact that the sister was the woman he was making out with when she walked in

It might have something to do with it

Of course there was only one thing to do

Now that should make really interesting Thanksgivings


Image:  i2.wp.com/diamondexchangedallas.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Engagement-Rings-Dallas.jpg

Feud (an acrostic poem)

Francisco pulled out his putter and gave his brother the bird

Every year this golf game determines the honor of who hosted Christmas.

Under that sort of pressure, Francisco watched his brother step to the ball

Don’t you know it.  Francisco sneezed just as his brother swung

Happy Drinksgiving!

I was driving myself to drink.  Literally driving to Dungee’s, a bar, on Drinksgiving.  It was a tradition to go out the night before Thanksgiving to pregame hard before the festivities start the next day.  The idea of dealing with my family among the mindless constant babble of football was enough to warrant the mandatory hangover.

Dungee’s was one of the few places I knew of that had Pappy Van Winkle bourbon usually available.  It was liquid gold, and you better have a vault of gold to afford it, but I work hard and drink harder.  That might have been one of the reasons why my family was hard on me, but it was a holiday and I didn’t want to think about it.  I ordered a flight of shots of their top of the line stuff and found a table in the corner.  I sat with my back to the wall so I could watch everything that was happening.  I wasn’t going to allow any of these townies to sneak up on me, those bastards.

As I sipped my first shot glass, my sister and her husband came in and waved at me.  Jennyfer was as much a pain in my ass as the rest of the family, but she could be fun when she got buzzed, so I waved them over to the table.  Steve waved back, but the two of them went to the bar first.  They placed their orders before coming over to sit with me.  Jennyfer had her Manhattan in hand, half of it already gone before she even sat down.  I pointed at it with a raised eyebrow.  “Hey, I had to walk all the way over here.  It made me thirsty,” she said.

“You guys walked from mom and dad’s?” I asked.  They lived like four miles away and it was breath seeing weather out.  That seemed so unlike my sister who had to have a car to drive from her dorm to the building across the street.  I wondered if she had been abducted by aliens.

“Hell no,” Jennyfer said, “Just the walk from the bar to the boonies where you are sitting.  Could you have sat any farther away?”

I smiled.  That was my sister.  Jennyfer one, aliens zero.  I nodded to Steve.  “You DDing tonight?” I asked.

“Hells no!” Steve practically shouted.  “I’ve got my own flight coming.  I need some fortification to put up with the beat down my Cowboys are about to receive.”  As if the heavens opened up as the prophet had spoken, five beers landed on the table.  Steve lifted the first into the air.  “God bless ‘Merica and God bless them Cowboys!”

“Wait!” I said as I slammed my empty shot onto the table.  “One of us better be the Designated Driver or we could be so screwed.”

“What were you planning on before we got here?” Jennyfer asked.

“To be shitfaced before you showed up, forcing one of you to deal with it,” I replied.

Steve took a drink of his beer, pondering what I had said.  I could tell his beer was something fancy, but all I could smell was the Milwaukee’s Beast that he would drink last.  Steve didn’t want to waste his money on something he wouldn’t care about, but I found it barbaric. There were times I didn’t know what my sister saw in him.

“Well if you didn’t sip that swill then your plan would have worked,” Jennyfer said.  She threw back her Manhattan and raised two fingers.  The bartender smiled and nodded.  I think he was an ex of hers, but still pined on.  Loser.

“Look, you do it tonight and I’ll do it on Friday,” I told Jennyfer.  “I already spent a mint.  I pointed at the four other shots still sitting in front of me.

“I’m not facing that house sober,” Jennifer replied.  “Uh uh.”

I looked at Steve.  He held up his hands.  “I’m just married into that crack house.  You guys fight it out.”

I looked back at Jennyfer.  Her two Manhattans arrived.  She looked back at me, daring m to take the next step.  I thought about seeing how fast I could shoot them all, but that would be such a waste of my hard earned drunk money.

“Okay,” I said, “Rock paper scissors to determine who confronts Dad’s cranberry sauce without a hangover.”

My sister looked like she wasn’t going to ride to the bait, but she suddenly gave in.  “Fine.  On three.  One, two, three, throw”

I threw out a scissor thinking she was going to go all paper guessing I was going to rock her drunken world.  Instead she went rock and smashed my hopes and dreams.

Steve screamed, “Yeah!”  He then grabbed two of my remaining shots and handed one to Jennyfer.  “To sibling love and them Cowboys!”  Jennyfer was about to shoot it back when Steve yelled, “Wait.”  He motioned his shot towards me.  “One for you dude.”

“But I lost her bet,” I replied.

“We’re going to be here for a while,” Steve said.  “One won’t kill us.”

I picked up my shot and the three of us shot them back.  Okay, so maybe Steve was cool after all.  I slammed my glass down.  Let the Thanksgiving festivities begin.

The New Thanksgiving Tradition (an Italian sonnet)

I look at my meal of turkey and pie

As I smile at the family huddling near

The football game raising a tear

As Cowboys fans keep asking why

Praying boldly for at least a tie

But I am waiting patiently for my wife to appear

So I can thank her for the best idea of the year

As the real festivities are on nigh

For the store’s doors are just over there

And we had cousin Jeb first in line

He got one of the drumsticks, it was only fair,

As the rest of us feast and dine

Tailgating is not just for sports, but take care

When those doors open the 72 inch 4K TV is mine!

Thanksgiving Prayer

Timmy wondered what he would be thankful for this year.  Every Thanksgiving Grandpa would say a prayer over the meal and ask everyone, one at a time, to say one thing they were grateful for.  Last year he had said he was thankful for his toy car.  Grandpa was fine with that, but his mother later explained that he should have said something that wasn’t toy related.  Now they were pulling into the village that Grandpa lived in and Timmy was worried.  What would he say this year?

“You’re being awfully quiet back there,” Dad said.  “Is everything all right?”

“I’m trying to decide what to be thankful,” Timmy said.

Dad twisted the rear view mirror around and gave Timmy a quick smile.  “Me too.  It’s been a tough year.”

Timmy nodded, not sure how to describe what he felt.  His dad fixed the mirror and continued.  “Your mom would have been proud at all the thought you’re putting into it.”

Timmy stared out the window, tears falling silently down his face.

Dad pulled into Grandpa’s driveway and Grandpa poked his head out the front door.  Grandpa had such a big smile on his face that it immediately banished the gloom that Timmy felt.  Timmy quickly wiped the tears from his face with his shirt sleeve.  He didn’t want to make Grandpa sad.

Grandpa opened Timmy’s door and helped him out of his car seat.  “How is my little man?” asked Grandpa.

“I’m hungry,” said Timmy.

His dad laughed.  “You are a bottomless pit,” Dad said.  “I can’t keep that kid full.”

“He’s a growing man,” said Grandpa.

“No Grandpa,” Timmy said.  “I’m seven.”

Grandpa gave him a big hug and then swung Timmy onto his shoulders.  “Yes you are, but not for long,” Grandpa said as he carried Timmy to the house.  “Pretty soon you will be away in college trying to keep all the girls away.”

“Eww, girls are yucky,” Timmy said.

Dad took the suitcase out of the trunk.  “You keep thinking that, Timmy,” Dad said.

“Except for Mom,” Timmy continued.

That brought Grandpa up short.  He swung Timmy down and gave him a strong hug.  “Well, keep thinking that too, Timmy,” Grandpa said.  “Your mom, was pretty special.”

“Do you miss her too?” asked Timmy.

Grandpa stood up and opened the door.  “Every day, but I still have you, and that’s like having her here,” Grandpa said.

Dad came up behind Grandpa and gave him a pat on the shoulder.  “Agreed.”

Timmy thought about what Grandpa had said, but it didn’t quite make sense to him.  Then his tummy grumbled.  “My tummy is getting angry,” Timmy said.

Grandpa smiled weakly.  “Well then go inside.  Dinner is just about ready.  It isn’t as nice as, well it just isn’t,” Grandpa said.  “But it is food and family and”

“Thanksgiving!” shouted Timmy as he entered the house and saw the plastic cornucopia on the table.  The scent of turkey surrounded Timmy and seemed to give his nose a high five.  “I can’t wait!” he said.

“Go wash your hands, and I’ll get the bird ready,” Grandpa said.

That motivated Timmy to run upstairs to the bathroom and pull out his stool.  He pumped soap into his hand and turned on the faucet.  As he rubbed his hand under the falling water that fear came back.  What was he going to be thankful for?  He slowly shut off the water, now dreading going back downstairs.  His stomach rumbled again.  “Just be quiet,” Timmy said.  “I don’t know what to say yet.”

“Are you coming?” asked Dad from downstairs.

Timmy just wanted to hide in the bathroom.  He didn’t want to be thankful for a toy.  He couldn’t say Dad or Grandpa since that would leave the other one out.  He could say his family, but that seemed lame.  He wanted to ask his mom what he should do, but that wasn’t possible.  Timmy just sat on his stool not knowing what he was going to do.

Footsteps coming up the stairs made Timmy just seize up.  He needed more time.  Someone knocked at the door.  “Timmy?” Grandpa asked.  “Are you okay?”

“I’m not done yet,” said Timmy.

“Do you need some help?” asked Grandpa.

“I don’t know,” said Timmy.

It was quiet for a moment, then Grandpa asked, “May I come in?”

Timmy waited for a moment, but decided he really needed the help.  “Sure,” Timmy said.

Grandpa opened the door and nodded seeing Timmy there.  “I was wondering if you were okay,” Grandpa said.  Grandpa came into the bathroom and sat on the closed toilet.  “Want to talk about it?”

“I don’t know what to be thankful for this year,” Timmy said.  “I don’t want to ruin Thanksgiving.”

“Timmy, you won’t ruin Thanksgiving.  You’re being too hard on yourself,” Grandpa said.

Timmy was not convinced.  “But Mom didn’t like it when last year I was thankful for my car.  She told me I should think of something else.  But I don’t know what to say.  I don’t want to Mom to be sad because I did something stupid.  I want to make her proud of me,” Timmy said through a new fountain of tears.

Grandpa twisted on the toilet and put his hands on Timmy’s shoulders.  Tears were welling up in his eyes as well.  “My daughter did some amazing things in her life, but her most amazing thing was having you.  She was proud of you before you were born and proud of you when she breathed her last.  Always remember that,” Grandpa said.  “Just try your best, that’s all she, or anyone else, can ask.”

“But I still don’t know what to be thankful for,” Timmy said.

“Then I won’t ask you this year,” said Grandpa.  “It’s as simple as that.”

Timmy shook his head.  “No Grandpa.  I want to do it.”

Grandpa pulled Timmy to him and gave him another strong hug. “Just speak from your heart then.  Everything will be fine.”

Timmy nodded and pulled back.  “Okay then, I think I know now.”

Grandpa smiled and wiped away his tears with a towel.  “Good, because that bird is getting cold, and we don’t want that,” he said.

“Until tomorrow,” Timmy said.  “That’s when we have sandwiches!”  Timmy’s stomach growled in agreement.

Grandpa laughed at that.  “You are right there, Timmy.  Right there.  Let’s go get something to eat.”

Down on the table all the food was out.  The three people brought together by one woman sat around the table, heads bowed in prayer.  Grandpa continued, “Thank you Lord for this meal and the ability for our little family to come together.  You give us so much every day that we take most of it for granted.  On this day set aside for thanks giving, hear our prayer and know that we are truly thankful for…”

There was a short silence and Dad spoke up, “I thank you for Timmy.  I am proud to be his dad and am thankful for the person he is.”

Another little bit went by and Grandpa spoke up again, “I am thankful for David bringing Timmy here.  He could have easily gone to his family, but he honored his father in law by sharing this day and time and my grandson.  For that I am extremely thankful.”

Now the silence ate at Timmy.  He knew it was his turn.  He looked at his heart and knew what he had to say.  “God, I am thankful that you took my mom home to be with you.  Not only is she not in pain anymore, but I know she is with me all the time now and not many kids can say that.”

There was a little more silence and then Grandpa choked out, “Amen.”  There wasn’t a dry eye in the house, but smiles blossomed as turkey was doled out with extra helpings of stuffing and gravy. In between bites Timmy asked, “Did I do good Grandpa?”

Grandpa looked at Dad and then back to Timmy.  “You did great, Timmy,” Grandpa said.  Dad nodded his head and Timmy smiled knowing his mom was nodding as well.  It made Timmy happy knowing all his family was there.