Thanksgiving Ghost

Like a palimpsest
with traces of the past
showing through,

our table
recapitulates
her favorite feast:

the iconic bird
with its secret
wishbone;

baskets of Indian corn;
a still life of winter
vegetables;

and there,
three generations down,
her pale blue eyes

watching
from the child’s
oblivious face.

Even candles leave behind
invisible fragrance,
and every book

on every shelf
has its half-imagined
sequel.

—Linda Pastan, from Traveling Light: Poems