The Last Thanksgiving
A Loblolly towers over Aunt Lena’s house. I help my daughter, only two, gather cones for decorations – few pine trees grow where we live.
Uncle Hugh brings Grandmother from the nursing home. She sits in a straight chair, rattling her false teeth. Daddy and his two brothers are in the den talking horses and cattle. Uncle Day, the handsome one, balances a grey Stetson on his knee. My heroes in Justin boots and button-snapped shirts, strong and tall as the pine outside, the lines in their faces unnoticed, their fragile hearts unheard. Soon, Grandmother and Uncle Day die; Daddy follows three years later.
on crumbling cones
a faint scent of pine