the year jesus wasn’t thanked

by Steven J. Serafiani

thanksgiving dinner 2001
our dining table festive
leafs pulled for extra space
pots and bowls and trays to the edges
autumn runners
and acorn napkin holders
football to a hush in the other room
the dog gated
seats filled
conversation muted
I knew it was coming
grace was coming
eyes looked towards me
the pastor in training
the righteous kid
with a “dear heavenly father” to spit
cause it’s tradition
I was already waxing away though
so when pops asked
I blurted out,

“I don’t want to lead the fucking grace! Why don’t you fucking lead it!”

a shocked holiday gasp
the quiet kid
the holy kid
passive no more

could you pass the asparagus?