Fill the Cavity with Crumbs
- Susan Kinsolving
We were divorcing, but after giving Thanks-
giving. It was all relative with relatives. Every-
one came wanting: to grate, mash, carve, or
strain. It was a strain. Who knew a frozen
turkey took three days to thaw? We hauled
boiling water to the bathtub. Fowl was
the noun, but quickly became adjectival.
My almost-ex overcooked cranberries until
they exploded across his shirt like a machine gun,
proving him, the victim. The garbage disposal
jammed and overflowed as our cousin waltzed in
with her special dish, lurid whipped yams, dotted
with mini-marshmallows in a heart shape around
a big smiley face. I eyed the mace. Uncle Ed said
an ecumenical grace. Drunk, Aunt Dede described
her sister's ''firm grasp of the superficial,'' then
added, ''Make this insult official.'' My mother
replied, ''I won't cry. Because someday I'm going
to die.'' After a long pause, eight people said
they'd have to skip the pie and say an early
goodbye. Dad called it ''mincing the mince.''
Quite undone, he laughed alone at his pun.
For me, the day seemed endlessly long. But I
was thankful nothing had really gone wrong.