Thanksgiving 2020 – A Sestina

The smell of bread perks my senses

I struggle against the warmth of comfort

Wrapped in blanketed protection

Dreaming of food and family 

Around a table, laughing together

Ignoring the nightmare outside


I get dressed and check outside

The warm sun deluding my senses

Into thinking it would be OK to be together

Why should we throw out our comfort?

The Bible says love of God, of family

Provides everything we need, even protection


What are we really protecting? 

Is the fear from inside or outside?

We shouldn’t be afraid of our family

Yet I feel that niggle, like Spidey senses

No amount of food can bring comfort

If we get sick from being together 


Is the risk worth it to be together? 

Should we stay away for protection?

If one gets sick or dies, will memories of this time be enough to bring comfort?

My worries spill from my body to outside

I do not want to kill my family


Because this is what it’s about – family

The primal need to be together

The smell, the sight, the sounds of food and laughter filing my senes

My role should be as protector

Not a bystander looking in from outside

Aloofness won’t bring comfort


But sickness and death also won’t bring comfort

I do not want to lose anyone in my family 

So I invite them to come in from outside 

If this is the last time we are all together

I will build a wall around my heart as protection 

As we take leave of our senses


There is no comfort in being left outside

My senses overload upon seeing my family

Breaking bread together crumbles the wall of protection 

Can you guess what my favorite Thanksgiving food is?

Hello! It’s been a while and I’m jumping right back in with a submission for Patrick’s Pic and a Word Weekly Challenge #253 – Bread, #254 – Nightmares and #255 – Warmth. Back on track to continue my streak! My original idea for these prompts were to write about a carb-free diet and how awful that sounds to me right now being that we are in the middle of Christmas baking, however, as with all things at this moment when positive COVID-19 cases have almost reached 15 million in the USA, not eating warm bread doesn’t seem like that much of a nightmare.

I am also tried out the sestina form for the first time. It seems to work well for the merry-go-round of worry I seem to be riding since having family over for Thanksgiving. Yes, we had a gathering of over 10 people. No, we didn’t wear masks. Yes, my family quarantined before we had my family over due to my dad being immune compromised (we only left the house for work and food) AND we are quarantining until the end of this week just to make sure we don’t have anything from this gathering. While I know most people would not be this strict in following the CDC guidelines, we are trying to do our part in preventing the spread of this novel coronavirus.

But that’s the thing – we are doing our part but I see other people are not. Until there is enforcement of the safety guidelines, I fear this pandemic will continue to rage unabated. Sure, there is talk of a vaccine coming out in the spring of 2021, but how many more people will get the coronavirus until then? How many more people will die?

I’ve read about countries where they have been able to stop the spread of the coronavirus in certain areas and where they haven’t had any new cases in over a month (I’m looking at you Melbourn, Australia – shoutout to Kate and Ivor!) Will Americans ever be able to let go of their “right to individuality” in order to do something for the good of society? At this moment in time, the answer for most Americans seem to be a resounding no.

Maybe come January 20, 2021 things will change. My hope is that it does. Then I can go back to obsessing about sourdough bread bowls filled with clam chowder.

©️ 2020 iido

22 thoughts on “Thanksgiving 2020 – A Sestina

  1. You’ve really summed up the pain a lot of us are feeling this festive season: ‘Is the fear from inside or outside?’ Is such a poignant question, not only about this time but about life in general.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. lovely poem, sorry you are so torn!

    we all make choices Irma … I have kept with restrictions but then I have lived solitary for many years so it’s not new to me. Our restrictions are easing and Ivor can now go out and about. As I live rurally we haven’t had any active cases for more than six months.

    We feel safe but the danger is not fully over … take care and enjoy your family time 🙂 Let go of those worries, your parents chose to take a risk coz seeing family is most important to any with a limited life span ..

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow! This is absolutely brilliant Irma. I love sestinas and I love writing them. But this isvright on topic for our times, and describes the dilemma we are all in. Great job!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Touching ~ Pic and a Word Challenge #256 – Pix to Words

  5. you have written a powerful poem Irma and with one of the most difficult forms, I salute you, once again for your prowess! It made prefect sense and much to reflect upon. Pray you and your loved ones stay safe through these unpredictable times. Have you read Elizabeth Bishop’s A Miracle for breakfast? She has executed the sestina really with flair there. I am struggling to write even one! Take care dear.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I am so glad you decided to meet family, Irma. Last month my nephew got married and after a lot of objective pros and cons analysis, we decided to go. After 20 days I am happy we went because I got to meet my mom and siblings with their families and all of us are fine. We wore masks, took precautions but did not let covid dampen our spirits.
    Love your poem…big hugs, sis! ❤️🤗

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes – I am happy we did it, and every one is fine, but the worries get to me. Congrats to your nephew – I’ve attended one Indian wedding and it so much fun! Life must go one….


  7. “If one gets sick or dies, will memories of this time be enough to bring comfort?”
    This line gets me …will memories really be enough if we get sick and eventually die?..oh dear…so sad…

    And the form is so difficut to write but you did it ..😍😍😍

    Liked by 1 person

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