You Join Matchdotcom Two Weeks Before Thanksgiving

because orphaned, never wed, not-a-mom,
and estranged from sisters, you would like
to avoid another holiday season spooning
take-out while watching British boys sing
O Tannenbaum on TV; folding towels
at the Suds-O-Rama on Beacham Street,
those weekends either side of Christmas
and New Years stretching time shapeless
as a sweater crocheted from dimestore yarn.
Shuttered flat, the whole town leaves you
to rattle around like a marble in a shoebox
wearing sweat pants and mucklucks
when what you want is velvet and stilettos;
you want candle light and crystal; a place
at a table with flaxen-haired preschoolers
and wizened elders tilting their cups
of egg nog, passing platters laden with ham
while all around ricochets the banter
of stair-step brothers; cousins laughing;
a powdery matriarch with a gentle smile
presiding; backstories supplied in the pantry
sotto voce while helping other wives put away
the good china.
You want to cook French toast and pour
cocoa, referee rounds of Scrabble while
wearing pajamas, attend a party cushioned
by nieces on piano, skate a pond amongst
apple-cheeked toddlers, so what if your date
is a widowed insomniac or a 3x divorcé
long as he strings words together like
My sister always    Uncle Ted believes
Mom invited and wears clean khakis
with creases, cups your elbow as you climb
over snowbanks to a car


by Shoshauna Shy