And now for the fourth runner-up in poetry! The winner is Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz of Astoria, NY. Enjoy the poem!
The Art of Holiday Spirit: Astoria, Queens
Beware the turkey tree, my boyfriend tells me
as we pass Astoria’s most ambitiously decorated
house. What isn’t festooned with shellacked corn,
plastic cornucopias and baleful pilgrim children
is studded with the large psychedelic turkeys.
Unnoticed, and hopefully left over from Halloween,
a skeletal hand lurches out of the unraked ground.
At our neighborhood pharmacy, the front window
showcases a tornado of construction paper leaves,
and bags of discounted candy corn, all surrounding
a large, panicked-looking paper-maché turkey,
who (in spirit of the pharmacy, I guess) downs
an entire glittering red bottle of cough syrup.
He knows what’s coming, my boyfriend says,
I hope that cough syrups helps. I really do.
Meanwhile, our corner liquor store seems
to be wishing us all a very erotic Thanksgiving,
their posters of semi-nude Indian women,
suggestively holding enormous ears of corn,
outnumber the shiny schoolroom puritans
eight-to-one, as if thick beards, wool dresses
and shiny silver buckles aren’t sexy on their own.
As for us? Our second floor apartment faces
the local beer garden and we are committed
to reminding its boozy partrons what time
of year it is. Thanksgiving yields nothing
when we drag out our holiday decoration box,
so my boyfriend improvises: puts a mouth
bubble next to the jack-o-lantern reading,
Eat Me; puts a black top hat to put a flaming
skull and calls it, Goody Small Pox; has two
of Santa fattest elves hold tiny gloved hands
and kiss a large silver can of cranberry sauce.