A Poe(m) for Thanksgiving

The Turkey

Once upon an empty plate, while I pondered, long and late
Over many a quaint and curious cookbook of delicious delight,
While I simmered the onions and butter, suddenly there came a flutter
As of a gobble gobble at my door, a quiet gobbling at my door,
‘Tis my imagination, thought I, playing tricks at this dark hour.
                                                    Only this, and nothing more.

Ah, distinctly I remember, it was late in a cold November,
When all the pilgrims gave much praise for plenty of meat and stores of maize,
And the natives, too, had gathered round to celebrate with joyful sound;
From far away they made the trip, on ol’ Mayflower, their only ship.
And then I heard the noise once more and looked about the kitchen door.
                                                   Nothing there, just the floor.

And the onions cooking, sizzling slow, the celery sliced and diced so nice,
Thrilled me—filled me with disastrous memories of Thanksgivings past
So that now I thought, to quiet my heart, I stood repeating
‘Tis only a visitor I hear out there come to have a taste,
‘Tis only a visitor I hear out there, too soon, of course,
                                                     For tomorrow I baste”

But in then strolled a fattened fowl, the biggest baddest turkey of all,
Not a feather flew or dropped he; no, this big bird he never stopped,
‘Til up he popped upon the top of the stainless steel refrigerator.
Much I marveled this Tom turkey that you might think that I’d gone crazy,
No, I hadn’t even uncorked the wine, and the bird spoke, too, so clear and fine,
                                                       These three words, “Why not ham?”

And then he said, I’ll never forget, “Hey, tomorrow’s not here yet.
And you’ll have cranberry sauce and green beans, mashed potatoes and gravy,
Maybe butternut squash and muffins, and, of course, that wonderful splendid stuffing,
Maybe some creamed corn on the side, and for dessert, there’s plenty of pies.
Man, I can’t barely wait for all these plates, but tell me, please, it’s not too late,”
                                                        Quoth the turkey, “Why not ham?”