When our laughter went quiet
And the stories about children and dogs
And how we’ve been spending our time
Turned to plans for Thanksgiving
And thoughts of safety in a world
Full of fear
I felt a lifetime of high expectations 
Push down on our weekly call

We four children 
Making plans or not 
Carry the hopes of a lonely mother
A generous mother
Who wanted to fill her table with food
And sit a happy family 
Generations deep 
Around the room

As you boys gather children and friends
Sitting at a safe distance
Saving big bear hugs for next year 
Take a moment to look around
There she’ll be
So soft 
She could almost pass through you
So happy 
Smiling among the ancestors

~ Robin J. Phillips, Nov. 13, 2020