The Missing Poem

By Emily Wheeler

Less a description of a Thanksgiving
I remember than an invitation
to a party that asks many people,
some alive, some dead,
to fill the front hall
of the old house
with such loud joy
at faces long unseen
that few can reach the quieter
fire-lit room at the back
where cheese and bread await,
and raise glasses of the most delicious,
deepest red wine.
No war, no plague, no economic
collapse deflate the mood.
I make a beeline for my favorite aunt
in the corner looking out the window
at the black river. There I join her
bringing the news that the river
doesn’t mean what it used to mean,
now it’s behind her, not ahead.

Emily Wheeler is a freelance editor and writing coach for scientists, previous ex-
pat (Germany, 12 years), docent (at the Arnold Arboretum), editorial whatever
(wherever), and recently moved to Cape Cod. Wheeler’s poems have appeared
in Barrow Street and Orion, among other publications. Water Ring, Wheeler’s
manuscript, is still on the street.

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