Anita Mechler: Tamales and Turkey

Sun barely up,

Rubbing sleep from my eyes.

Kitchen is warmth and smell




My tia, my mom, my grandma





southwest-turkey-m-mFirst, cornbread stuffing

with wild green onions.

Then, menudo

with red hot chilies.

Last, steaming tamales

pork, chicken, bean.

Turkey, of course

and honey baked ham, sometimes.


Plastic tablecloths with poinsettias

Plaid shirts and cowboy boots

Coca-cola and Big Red.

Tia’s famous mashed potatoes.

Cranberry sauce wrinkled from the can.

Pecan pie,

pumpkin pie,

piles of mint chocolate chip ice cream.


Sitting with cousins

laughter, tension, or silence

forks clinking,

styrofoam plates squeaking,

mouths moving together.

Warm bodies packed in the old living room

and around the dinner table.


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