A Thanksgiving Cento


(A Cento by Sue Walker)

Thanks for
Bells with their stentorian tongues,
the relic of a summer barely gone,
river fog, wandrin’ damp and pathless under a flower moon,
goldfish, frogs, and lilies and wild plum thickets.

Thanks for
Ham and roast turkey, stuffed eggs and watermelon pickles,
old warriors, vests covered with patches,
a gypsy dressed in dreams wearing a white cat,
a drawer of tarnished knives.

Thanks for
A time before airboats and outsiders,
a soft urgency for sleep,
the tracery each beat and breath provides;
may I never be ungrateful for any shelter, any mouthful of
food or sip of water, any friendly gesture, any offer
of help, any touch of understanding.

Thanks for
Whatever comes of love,
kerosene, gasoline, Maybelline, Vaseline,
beads, brass, candlesticks, cotton sheets,
the sound of Anglo-Saxon laced with Latin.

Thanks for
The calm font of gentleness
when I had given up looking;
I wanted you to kiss me
on the street going to a store.

Thanks for
Belief in the infinite scheme of things
when times like lifted faces changed so slow,
little cataracts of blue ice in the stream gully
for the heart that waits.

Thanks for
The radio controlled turbo race car,
memory more satisfying than cold fried chicken
flowers and silk, girlish folderol
and earrings big as moons.

Thanks for
Gulps from a sun-warmed hose
small bubbles of sound,
mothers, fathers, siblings, lovers—
Ah! Suzette, Suzette.

Thanks for
Hot metal down South: beer cans, oil cans, tin trailers,
rusty barrels of smoking fish,
the gradual acceleration of a bird,
an octant for navigating by the stars
and the whole world looked new-made.

Thanks for
The peach overcome by her own sweet juices
one moment at a time,
reminiscences, poignant memories,
Eudaemonia, the concept Aristotle spent much of his Nicomachaen Ethics discussing.

1. Michael Bassett: “In the Forest of Whispers,” Hatchery of Tongues
2. Vivian Smallwood,:“And Finding No Mouse There,” And Finding No Mouse There.
3. Charles Rodning: Waitin’ ‘Round the Bend
4. J. William Chambers: Collage

5. Joseph L. Whitten: “Remember Rosella Gossett Winkler After Christmas Dinner,” Learning to Tell Time
6. Mary Elizabeth Murphy: “Reflecting Faces, Blama.
7. Philip C. Kolin: “Lunar Equations,” Departures.
8. Lissa Kiernan: “The Thinning” Two Faint Lines In The Violet

9. John Davis, Jr.: Everglades Requiem,” Middleclass American Proverb.
10. Maureen Alsop: “A Willow Tree And often, A River,” Later, Knives & Trees
11. Jim Murphy: “Almost Georgic, Alabama,” The Uniform House
12. John J. Brugaletta: “Itadakimasu,” With My Head Rising Out of the Water

13. Mary Carol Moran: “Vincent Implores Her Husband,” Equivocal Blessings
14. Pat Schneider: “Mama,” Wake Up Laughing
15. Melissa Dickson: “Fourteen Fragmented Quatrains,” Sweet Aegis
16. Michael Bugeja: “Little Dragons,” Little Dragons.

17. Robert Gray: “Sermon on the Mount, Circa 2008,” Jesus Walks the Southland
18. Barry Marks: ‘Finding You,” Sounding
19. Irene Latham: “New Year’s Eve, 1988,” What Came Before
20. Kathleen Thompson: “raising rails,” The Nights, The Days

21. Harry Myers: “Hang Loose,” Let Your Mind Run Free
22. Maurice Gandy: “An Old Mobilian,” An Uncharted Inch
23. Shanan Ballam: “The Porcupine,” Pretty Marrow
24. Vivian Shipley: “No Anesthesia,” Fair Haven

25. Roger Granet: “Christmas Eve,” The World’s A Small Town
26. P.T. Paul: “Cold Fried Chicken In Cadillac Square,” To Live and Write in Dixie
27. Mark J. Mitchell: “She Says Good-Bye To A Hat,” Three Visitors
28. Patricia Harkins-Pierre: “Aunt Janet’s Legs” Prophets of Morning Light

29. Clela Reed: “Five-Thirty,” The Hero of the Revolution Serves Us Tea
30. Sue Scalf: “Star Gazer,” To Stitch A Summer Sky
31. Lloyd Dendinger: “Freud,” Autumn Legacy
32. Clavin Andre Claudel: “Ah! Suzette.” Louisiana Creole Poems

33. Carolyn Page: “Stump Sound Hollow”; Barn Flight.
34. Alison Touster-Reed: “A Little Box of Us,” Bodies
35. Diane Gardner: “Boy With Spinning Top,” Measures to Movements
36. Richard Moore: The Mouse Whole

37. Louie Skipper: “The Other Kind of Silence Left By Wind.” To Speak This Tongue
38. Alexis Saunders: “ The Truth is . . . “ A Place Never Imagined
39. Nicholas Rinaldi: “”Bunker Wedding,” The Luffwaffe En Chaos
40. James Walker, Thoughts On High School & Beyond