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Tastes of Thanksgiving

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My mom has always been one
to make cake from mixes,
tea from bags.
But I would never have suspected her
of cheating out of making
our Thanksgiving dinner.

At the supermarket,
as we crammed our cart with
mashed potatoes and apple cider
I saw her sneaking looks
at prepackaged turkey meat.
Not whole turkeys-
slices coated in gooey seasoning.
“Mom,
that will not end up on our Thanksgiving table,”
I said.
But two days later,
I found a package of rotisserie turkey breast
that “tastes of Thanksgiving!”
sitting in our freezer.

“Tastes like Thanksgiving!”
Like when they claim to sell fresh potato chips
or give food fancy-pantish names like
tiger butter fudge when really
it’s just fudge with swirly orange
stuff on top.
When teensy takeout restaurants are
given oversize names,
like Jade Palace-
making elephant clothes for a firefly.
Who ever heard of a palace smaller than a walk-in closet?

And sometimes
the same thing happens with people.
Sometimes our parents give us
names that you must grow into,
you know-like
Edwin Igor Williamsburg the Second-
and some people never do.
My name
is too fancy-pantish, I think
for a thirteen-year-old girl
with a room full of notebooks and teddy bears
a house full of beige-painted rooms.



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