There were 18 here the other night, and now, as is the case most of the year, just the two of us and O’en.
So many lives and spirits were conjoined on Thanksgiving night in these rooms that in their absence we can only, at least for a moment, think how silent are the long dining table, with its ironed tablecloth, its polished silver candlesticks, whose candles have burned halfway down, and the six high-back chairs.
Our family came from northwestern Ohio, Brooklyn, Sea Cliff, and Woodcock and Manor Lanes, and it was great to see everyone, especially given the enforced estrangement of the past two years. Mary brought out the best we had — the plates looked almost too fine to eat on — Gavin was the head chef, Kitty brought the desserts, John and Linda the wine. . . .
A toast was made, by one who’s begun to see, to the five children, “who touch us and teach us, whose qualities endear them to us, and who make us want to be worthy of them.”
After which we fell to.
And now they’re gone, and we’ve got a touch of postpartum blues.
Godspeed one and all, may you fare well, we’ve been blessed by your presence.
Yet the tablecloth’s still on, the arrangements of red and gold leaves and green boughs Anderson gathered outside remain. I hope they will through the winter.
We feel we’re part of you. And yet, and yet. . . .