This turkey looks as if he/she knows what's coming.

This turkey looks as if he  knows what’s coming.

Thanksgiving 2016 may well be a different version of a favorite national holiday. As a little kid, I used to enjoy bringing up politics at that meal, causing a great uproar among the tipsy Republicans, Democrats and know-nothings in my mother’s extended family. This year there is no need for a mischievous little kid to stir things up. This year, everyone is stirred up, for better or for worse. For this week’s blog, I looked for an apt poem for Thanksgiving; among the sentimental, harsh and inscrutable poems on the internet, I discovered this gem by Alberto Rios, Poet Laureate of Arizona. As with most poems, it can be taken at face value or appreciated as a metaphor for life.

A Poem by Alberto Rios

 Pies have a reputation.
And it’s immediate—no talk of potential

 Regarding a pie. It’s good
Or it isn’t, but mostly it is—sweet, very sweet

 Right then, right there, blue and red.
It can’t go to junior college,

 Work hard for the grades,
Work two jobs on the side.

 It can’t slowly build a reputation
And a growing client base.

 A pie gets one chance
And knows it, wearing as makeup

 Those sparkling granules of sugar,
As a collar those diamond cutouts

 Bespeaking Fair Day, felicity, contentment.
I tell you everything is great, says a pie,

 Great, and fun, and fine.
And you smell nice, too, someone says.

 A full pound of round sound, ah ahh, all good.
Pies live a life of applause.

 But then there are the other pies.
The leftover pies. The ones

 Nobody chooses at Thanksgiving.
Mincemeat? What the hell is that? people ask,

 Pointing instead at a double helping of Mr.
“I-can-do-no-wrong” pecan pie.

 But the unchosen pies have a long history, too.
They have plenty of good stories, places they’ve been—

 They were once fun, too—
But nobody wants to listen to them anymore.

 Oh sure, everybody used to love lard,
But things have changed, brother—things have changed.

That’s never the end of the story, of course.
Some pies make a break for it—

 Live underground for a while,
Doing what they can, talking fast,

 Trying to be sweet pizzas, if they’re lucky.
But no good comes of it. Nobody is fooled.

 A pie is a pie for one great day. Last week,
It was Jell-O. Tomorrow, it’ll be cake.



About Alexis

Alexis Rankin Popik, author of Kiss Me Over the Garden Gate, is an award-winning short story writer whose work has appeared in The Berkshire Review and Potpourri Magazine. She has penned numerous articles about local history that have been published in Connecticut Explored and the University of Connecticut School of Law and The Hartford Seminary publications. A former union organizer, Popik traveled the country educating shipyard workers about health and safety and founded a labor-management health plan before turning to writing fiction full-time. She lives with her husband in New England.
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