Vicki Wilson

White Bread - Rolls ready to serve
Photo Credit: grongar

I was at the Thanksgiving dinner table with them, and was finding it hard to hold back my hysteria. Soon, someone would do it. Someone would say that one thing that gets said after having too much wine, and that would allow all the other things to get said, and then, boom, it would be like a truck crashed through the oak table knocking the half-eaten turkey to the floor for the dogs.

Who would speak first?

Would it be Michael?

Michael had the baggage and the lowest tolerance for merlot. He could most certainly go after Dad. I had to admit, Dad had provided the fodder. Words like lazy, girlie, sissy-boy and slow used to spit from Dad’s mouth as he tried to teach Michael to play baseball, football, basketball—any sport, really. Michael hated sports, still did, even at thirty years old. But he still sat with Dad watching games on TV on all the major holidays.

Would it be Mom?

She was more stealthy. She liked to toss zingers out like round lifesavers to drowning victims, except her lifelines had cement blocks tied to their ends. I had been hit more than once with a cinder block, with something cliche about my divorce, my withering womb, or my general lack of motivation in life to ever see anything through to the end.

Or maybe this Thanksgiving would be different. Maybe the light snow outside, the generally cheery mood everyone seemed to be in, the really good merlot we poured (a gift from the neighbors) would be our deliverance.

“Pass the rolls,” Dad said.

“We’re out,” Mom said.

“How can we be out of rolls?” he demanded.

“Mom had the last two,” I answered.

I swear I didn’t mean anything by it. I really didn’t. There wasn’t a breath of a whiff of a hint in my subconscious that I was making a pointed remark about my mother’s weight. So she had started shopping lately in the “women’s” section. So what.

But that’s all it took.

“Figures,” Dad said.

The truck had come.

The table would crash.

The turkey would fall.


Vicki is a freelance writer living in New York. Her work has appeared in Writer’s Digest, The Southampton Review, and more. She writes poetry, plays and fiction. Email: vicki[at]

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