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Doctors Orders

You’ll do it yourself – the day after the doctor 
said, “no heavy lifting.” And your husband 
(dreaming again) insisted on a patriarchal turkey 
like you always used to have, when he’d 
handle the fowl part of Thanksgiving. 
You fixed side-dishes; but cooking giblets, 
stuffing the bird, making gravy – that was his 
domain. You just stayed out of his way. 
But this morning – 20 pounds of thawed raw 
flesh in the sink – he swore he couldn’t 
remember a thing about it, so it’s up to you. 
Lifting down the great ceramic crock 
from the top-shelf cabinet; mixing chunks 
apple, celery, onion, mushroom, cornbread for 
the stuffing… well why not, it’s up to you, 
you have some cabbage in the fridge 
that needs using, and cabbage has such a sweet-
peppery taste. Stuff the cavities, ease that 
ponderous turkey onto its rack in the oven. 
Three cookbooks spread out on the table, full 
of theories on salting or not, stuffing 
or not, how long at what temp… you’ll 
just wing it. That’s how a bird gets through life.

Copyright © Taylor Graham | Year Posted 2016

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