Shortly after Thanksgiving,
as Evelyn and her parents started
their long drive back to Ontario,
I found a teaspoon in a potted plant.

I had already found an unopened jar
of baby food (beef gravy)
in the refrigerator,
and in the laundry basket,
a napkin showing evidence of Evelyn’s meal.

First grandchild, Evelyn ruled that
Thanksgiving table like a queen,
bestowing careful smiles.
We were so thankful she was there!

But that was seven years ago.
Today was like any ordinary Thursday
in Canada and Evelyn went to school.
So did her brother, Frankie.
And Robert went to Beth’s Day Care.

We had decided years ago that winter driving
in Ontario and Wisconsin was too risky,
so winter holidays would be better celebrated
long distance.

Today Evelyn’s mother sat at the end of the table
on a Skype screen.
there were two Wisconsin granddaughters here
to rule the table with their queenly smiles.

Tonight in the family room
I find evidence of Petra and Tulia:
penguin binoculars by a computer,
seven crayons on the floor.



I am a poet.
Words are my toys.
They lie scattered
all over the floor
of my mind.

I try to cram them
into toyboxes,
but they always hop out
and jump around.