Thanksgiving Memories

A honeyed ham impaled with clove;
Mashed yam with bits of sweet pecan;
A turkey lurking in the stove
With tryptophan to make us yawn.

Tomato juice with horseradish
Lime Jell-o mixed with cottage cheese.
And green beans (my least favorite dish)
Are old Thanksgiving memories.

Fond memories of those who’ve passed,
Both Mom and Dad, grandparents, too.
Thanksgivings always went too fast,
With hardly time enough to chew.

Our family meal paid dividends
Far more than anything we ate.
And often there were special friends
Who also made Thanksgiving great.

Before the feast, each bowed their head
And offered thanks to God who gave
Us life and health, our daily bread,
And God’s own Son who lived to save.

We finished with a pumpkin pie
With dollops of Cool Whip on top.
We ate so much we thought we’d die.
So good we found it hard to stop.

This year give thanks for food-filled bowls,
For family, friends, and days like those.



James A. Tweedie is a retired pastor living in Long Beach, Washington. He has written and published six novels, one collection of short stories, and three collections of poetry including Mostly Sonnets, all with Dunecrest Press. His poems have been published nationally and internationally in The Lyric, Poetry Salzburg (Austria) Review, California Quarterly, Asses of Parnassus, Lighten Up Online, Better than Starbucks, Dwell Time, Light, Deronda Review, The Road Not Taken, Fevers of the Mind, Sparks of Calliope, Dancing Poetry, WestWard Quarterly, Society of Classical Poets, and The Chained Muse. He was honored with being chosen as the winner of the 2021 SCP International Poetry Competition.

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9 Responses

  1. Cheryl Corey

    Your poem brought back fond memories. I’d give anything to go back to those days, when my grandmother made the turkey with delicious homemade stuffing that you could slice for a sandwich, and her sour cream Jell-o with walnuts.

  2. Roy Eugene Peterson

    This is a fitting tribute to our past Thanksgivings! I have similar memories.

  3. Margaret Coats

    James, the thought is lovely, but I must resent the offense given to lime Jell-o, a glowing gem-like treat unmixed with additives. Also wish to protest the omission of coconut custard pie. My grandfather would assure you of its extraordinary dividends. May you and your family and friends enjoy the blessings of days like those you describe, and more.

    • James A. Tweedie

      Margaret, LOL back at you. No offense either taken or given re the lime Jell-o since I didn’t say anything about it one way or the other (in fact, I enjoyed it. Sometimes there were canned Mandarin oranges in it instead. Back in those days I would add a spoonful of mayonnaise on top of the Jell-o as a tasty bonus! And as you suggest, the lime Jell-o is perfectly able to stand on its own “without additives”–pain, unadulterated Jell-p which we also enjoyed from time to time. Bun at Thanksgiving–or Christmas when the Jell-o was usually of the Cherry or Strawberry variety–something was added to make it “more specialler”).

      I have no doubt that your coconut custard pie still stirs up fine memories for you. We would always have pumpkin, often pecan pie and usually apple pie to choose from. Sorry to say, but cream pies, meringue pies, sweet potato pies, and custard pies were not standards in my house. But we enjoyed what we had!

      Blessings to you and yours in return!

  4. C.B. Anderson

    I loved the catalogues of tasty treats, moral imperatives and family virtues. I filled my plate yesterday like a man of twenty-five, but had to take about half of it home in a storage container. You are very good at what you do in your second career.

  5. Paul Freeman

    My computer’s crashed from me drooling on it.

    Thanks for the mouth-watering read, James.


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