Thanksgiving Suite: November 2014

Thanksgiving Suite: 2014



Rain Check

The knife trembled in the hand of a resigned father

But God said kill a ram instead

So he did

But God kept a rain check

And never forgot

And ultimately the lamb was slain

And it is slain over and over again on our streets and in our battlefields.

How many lambs to redeem our sins and God’s rain check?


(Backstory: I was in Turkey on the Feast of Ibrahim and watched they ritualized slaying of a ram. The story behind the Feast returns to me frequently. Then I began watching Paul Bowles life story on a video last night. The opening scenes are of a butcher flaying a ram’s head. I found it was much easier to watch live in Turkey and in that religious context.  I had to close my eyes during the scenes in the film. As I write these past few weeks, our country is ablaze with rage over the slaying of unarmed African American men by police personnel. AND we continue to be engaged, we the people of the world, in conflict everywhere. )

The Futility of One More Try

So be it, my son.

I’ve held on to your beloved linoleum far too long.

No more door mat either.



Crossing the Road Thanksgiving Day


I spot a flock of wild turkeys far ahead.

They look neither right nor left.

They reason: if we haven’t been shot and plucked by now

It ain’t gonna happen this year.

They meander, almost saucily, across the road

Then fly beyond the river.

(Backstory: Yes. This spotting was near Galice on the morning of Thanksgiving Day as I walked with Maggie the dog. )



….Like life

I float along doing very little

Then suddenly and in an instant

Something bites

And everything changes.


(Backstory: I bought a two day fishing license. And fished with my brother in his drift boat on the Rogue. This turns out to be one of my favorite things to do. We are quite. He nibbles Ritz Crackers with almond butter. I stare at the pole tip, at the water, at the banks, at the trees above us and seem to go to another dimension. Then…a bite.)



I once kept airplanes in the sky.

I placed my attention on that task

From the belted agony of my seat.

I spent my will

And focused on the pilots’ lair.

It worked.

Thus, catching fish should be an easy trick for me.

I watch the trembling rod tip bend

And picture a behemoth circling round

My quivering silver plug.

The Kingfisher chatters on the far bank as

The fish considers how best it might respond.

It doesn’t make its mind up quickly.

Even a mindful snap of jaws might spell disaster.

Still I believe that like a pencil to a pad,

My hand on pole transmits intention through the line

And will someday bring the beast to me.



Rime of the Ancient Narrative


Old stories, blames, and disappointments

Have worn a groove upon my brain

Perhaps some sculpting and some smoothing is required

How about I think of icing on a cake and make some

Sugared waves and froth…

Something on which the ancient narrative might sail away.


(Backstory: Some hard times, disappointment, attempt to make one more try with a relationship. It made me crazy waiting, hoping, revisiting old hurts. I seem to be okay now. Resolution: just let it go…again.)


A Slip in Time


Like a slip in time,

Sitting here in an unchanged room,

My quiet brother is hunched over the morning crossword.

I’ve been in this moment many times before.

His woolen watch cap beside his coffee cup.

A sketch book there,

And here, a sleeping dog before the stove.

Below the stairs,

Neat splits of wood

Are stacked there with precision

And sheltered with haphazard sheets of tin

Secured by random rocks.

And the river…

Though never stopping for a moment

Still much the same as yesterday.

Even his mother’s maple table

And other objects of his youth

Are close and just the same as yesterday.

His life is a point around which the seasons turn.

And that’s, for him, just fine.


(Backstory: This is about my brother, obviously. These are the days I cherish. Just being.)


Silly Dogs

I don’t care for a silly dog

Or one who gets by on her looks

Or tricks

Or being cute.

I like a rather solid dog

One with significant muzzle

Handsome nose

And no secrets.

I like a dog with muscled thighs

And one who likes to walk in woods

And doesn’t start

And has a love of home.

(Backstory: This is dedicated to my brother and sis in law’s dog Maggie. I spent many good days walking her…again!)












About Llyn De Danaan

LLyn De Danaan is an anthropologist and author. She writes fiction and nonfiction. Katie Gale: A Coast Salish Woman's Life on Oyster Bay was published by the University of Nebraska Press. She is currently a speaker for Humanities Washington.
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