Wednesday, December 28, 2005


Recipe for a Family Holiday
J.B. Rowell

                     Families converge
on a house with no guest rooms.
Sleeping arrangements:
twin bed, trundle, travel crib
blow-up mattress in dining room,
two sleeping bags, and one night
even the couch.

                     Oh, the family
togetherness, in the name of
Christmas/Hanukkah/Winter Solstice
and two-year-old birthday party.
Emptying bottles of wine,
cases of beer, raucous laughter:
heads back, mouths wide flashing
teeth, passing razor sharp sarcasm,
loving barbs as three brothers
cook the feast, banter, oldest
an entrepreneur/philosopher
decision maker, man of action;
the youngest idealist/builder
uncle for play; and the middle
a scientist/thinker “golden child”
go between, host of the stay.

                     Cousins fall
in love, plan nuptials, play
like they have never been apart,
breathlessly chase and race.
Most sentences begin with “pretend.”
Youngest design the arc of days,
outings planned around naps,
feedings, snacks, the next nap,
moods, and the surge of waking.


Blogger reniebob said...

I enjoyed both snapshots --the photo and the poem. Love the bit about the cousins falling in love!

8:53 AM, December 28, 2005  
Blogger Pris said...

Oh, this is nice...yes!

It brought back memories of when my father died. Much of my family was still alive then (a number of my cousins were much older and have since died). We had eleven very close family members who didn't want to be separated, so we used sofas, one sleeping bag and one cousin slept on an area rug in the entry way that was especially soft. We made it and it made also for the closeness we needed during that time.

11:04 AM, December 28, 2005  
Blogger J.B. Rowell said...

Thanks Irene - I remember being in love with my older cousin too - in a looking-up-to/idolizing sort of way.

Hi Pris - so glad you stopped by and liked it. It felt good to just write something after the whirlwind of the holidays. Sorry to bring up bitter-sweet memories . . .

3:21 PM, December 28, 2005  

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