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The Sunday Before Thanksgiving
Edwin Romond


My dad would come in after loading his truck, hang up his cap
and start moving couches and tables. We’d drop the funnies
or click off the Sunday movie, willing to do what we usually hated.

He seemed to love this and whistled through his teeth, his huge
frame creaking the stairs as we hoisted summer rugs to the attic
then unrolled thicker carpets saved for now, when the sky

through my mom’s starched curtains blurred chilled silver.
A vacuum purred in one room, a mop slopped linoleum
in another and then, the first Christmas song from the radio.

Around six, we’d wax ourselves into the parlor, six of us
huddling like pilgrims. My father would sit with my mother,
stretch out his legs, and speak of being a boy

in this house his parents built with money they earned
in Ireland. My dad, whose truck took him miles away
on Jersey highways, lived these minutes with only us,

telling of Depression meals of corn flakes and tea
and borrowing coal from neighbors in leaner Novembers.
And I, his youngest, would sit before him giggling

as his thick toes tickled my feet. And when my mother
announced fruit cup and shrimp cocktail, and three vegetables
with a twenty-five pound turkey, and apple crumb pie,

he’d lean back and grin with his eyes closed
as our new furnace pumped heat through the baseboards,
across the spotless floors, and into our soap-sweet air.

This poem first appeared the Pittsburgh Quarterly.
Used here with the author’s permission.

Edwin Romond  is a poet, playwright, and composer. Now retired, he taught English for more than 30 years in Wisconsin and New Jersey. Edwin's award-winning work has appeared in numerous literary journals, college text books, and anthologies, and has been featured on National Public Radio. His newest collection, Man at the Railing, from NYQ Books, recently won the Laura Boss Narrative Poetry Award. A native of Woodbridge, New Jersey, Edwin now lives in Wind Gap, Pennsylvania, with his wife. Learn more about him at



Post New Comment:
Ginny C.:
Heart-warming, perfect for the Thanksgiving season.
Posted 11/21/2010 12:27 PM
Phyllis Wax:
Perfect details for a great nostalgia poem.
Posted 11/21/2010 11:59 AM
I almost didn't read past the title because I know nothing of Thanksgiving living in Australia. I'm pleased I read on. A well set up reflective poem. You hooked me in the gritty first sentence of truck, cap and moving couches. Loved it. Andrew
Posted 11/21/2010 02:50 AM

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