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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/books/entry_id/990517-For-Elizabeth-with-Love-and-Ketchup
by Ned
Rated: 13+ · Book · Emotional · #2227002
A poem a day keeps the cobwebs off my keyboard.
#990517 added August 11, 2020 at 11:03am
Restrictions: None
For Elizabeth, with Love and Ketchup
I miss those raucous afternoons, and
the chaotic chorus of sibling voices
shouting over one another, as if
debating was a sport. Our family stories
had the audience they deserved.
We laughed out of love, not to mock,
knowing that the shared insanity
kept us together despite our differences.

Those crowded backyard reunions -
everyone competing for a folding chair,
a place at the table, the edge of a bench,
the losers taking a seat on a cooler or
in the prickly, brown growth your landscaper
called grass, trying for a spot in the shade
of your lone diseased and leafless tree
as it cast its cascade of caterpillars
onto our heads and our plates.

Will there ever be another time when
we feel so complete and carefree in a cloud
of smoking charcoal, listening to the music
of sausages sizzling on a summer fire?
When you left us, you left us without our
planner, without the force that shaped
those circles of family and love and we’re
all useless, you know, without you.

It’s been four summers since you left us,
I don’t remember if they were hot or stormy.
There were no fireworks, as if even they
were only willing to light up for you.
Four summers and your garden
is filled with strangers now, there are
no bowls of potato salad, no burgers
waiting to be flipped, and we are
so far apart and so alone without you.


34 Lines


Written for The Taboo Words Contest - August 2020
Prompt: COOKOUT
Taboo words:
food
barbecue
grill
gathering
beer
or any derivatives of these words
© Copyright 2020 Ned (UN: nordicnoir at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/books/entry_id/990517-For-Elizabeth-with-Love-and-Ketchup