Going there was not my choice
But, I decided I should hush my voice.
Oh, I knew they were all really nice folks...
(Some were even known for telling jokes!)
They were not strangers to me,
They just didn't feel like my family.
I looked around for some kind of an excuse...
Just any one that I could use.
But, my husband was off of work today
And the twins really wanted to go and play.
So, I begrudgingly started my preparations
While my mind filled with dire expectations.
I packed potato salad, beans and ham
(Nothing much--at least it wasn't spam!)
The pickle jar had sprung a leak,
So I wiped each container to keep things neat.
I guess I was getting ready, way too slow,
For my husband impatiently called, "Come on! It's time to go!"
In one unbroken move, he plucked the baby off the floor
And ushered the boys out the door.
I knew I was stalling...couldn't someone get sick?
Just for a couple of hours? (That would do the trick!)
I was very inclined to say, "Woe is me",
But, the car horn interrupted my reverie.
Well, of course, we were the last to arrive,
But everyone grinned and said we were just in time.
Every lawn chair held one or two occupants
(There were so many babies, cousins, uncles and aunts!)
I could not begin to remember all their names,
But I nodded and smiled, just the same.
The twins ran off to play with their cousins
(How many? I quit counting kids, after I saw two dozen).
My husband knew most everyone,
And I could see his reminiscing had begun.
Some stories were interesting, some mundane,
But I smiled and I laughed until I felt drained.
The baby was sleeping in Grandmother's arms,
So, I decided to explore and look around the farm.
I happened, by accident, upon Billy's great-granddad
And after talking with him, I was glad that I had.
He showed me a chair, made me feel right at ease...
He talked of his life under this very tree.
I laughed at his jokes and cried when he cried...
He was telling me stories of life with his bride.
This family's history became part of me
And I was happy and comfortable in this family.
Soon the shadows were falling and time slipped away...
But, I look forward to coming...next reunion day!
By Susan Elaine Collins 2001 ©