A Paramedic’s Thanksgiving

I’m breaking the wishbone,

snapping a breast bone,

feeling crepitus at the sternum.


You’re not breathing or wishing.

Keeping both halves buried

chest deep – almost to heart.


Lime green scribble ambles

across the monitor. An earthworm

newly exposed to sun,


or vectors

of electrical current

through cardiac muscle.


Your heart at this point resembles

a bowl of Jello trembling. Cradled

in the early nineties by Bill Cosby.


Raspberry or orange being

the only two flavours my

Great Grandmother used


for her standby Jello salad ring.

A Thanksgiving staple served

with the bird not dessert. She died


last September. So I worked the holiday

because we had a funeral instead

of a good meal. Tiny sandwiches


don’t get you into Valhalla.

Hollandaise and truffles

please. Skimp on the box.


My uncle was there. He turns

loved ones into keepsakes

with the push of a button and 870’C.


Unrecognizable is the key.

Like the animals in the midsections

of the crustless canapés.


We all just keep stealing carbon,

making it our own. North Americans

are 60% corn if you get down to it.


Thanksgiving immortalizing

expatriates’ harvest. Unrecognizable

corn as syrup, oil, and gravy


thickeners. Feed the cow ate,

who is beef now. Hungry

worms will eat Grandma Maxwell


and use her carbon, from corn

and otherwise. Writhing about when

tilled up in the field on a sunny day


until they lie still and flat. Then we

will call it asystole- and call the doctor.

Leaving you still and flat.


I will ask your wife for a grocery

bag. The one she toted the cereal

and ground beef home in.


I’ll collect the packaging

and disposables strewn about the

dining room from our attempt.


Then your wife, glassy eyed –

she will insist I eat,

she made too much


– and pack up your portion.

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