Circular Tides


a poem by


A Thursday in November


Bare trees, pecans on the ground,
Grey skies, wispy smoke all around.
The long, dirt drive, up the slight hill,
Azaleas, pines, and scattered daffodils.

Out-of-state vehicles fill the side yard,
All roads lead home, some easy, some hard.
Prodigal sons return, on Harleys chopped out,
Wild child daughters, tolerate mothers who pout.

Kinfolk gather, having made the long haul,
The old wooden farmhouse accommodates all.
Faded photos remind of childhood’s ease,
Kitchen aromas waft on the breeze.

Men smoke and talk of cars, of hunting, and their favorite bars,
Women bake and supervise, trading recipes from near and far.
Boys play flag football, showing off for all who look,
Girls tend the young’uns, while busy mothers cook.

Brothers divided by political lines,
Pitch horseshoes together and all is fine.
Sisters, angry and hurting for years,
Hold each other, both in tears.

An empty chair for those in uniform,
An unserved plate for those who are mourned.
The call goes out, “It’s ready to eat.”
Heads are bowed, Grace is given, nobody cheats.

Years go by, far from home, with just a campfire,
To ward off the night with its mystical gyre.
Mesmerizing, coaxing us to always remember,
A distant, melancholy, Thursday in November.