EDITOR’S NOTE: I wrote this poem in 2010. I’m re-posting it because I simply wanted to share it again. Poetry isn’t my strong suite, but I like this one. I originally wrote it because I wanted to do something creative for Thanksgiving, and I decided this was as good as way as any to be creative. The idea came to be from my recollections of my high school creative writing class I took as a freshman. We did this exact exercise then. In fact, my poem had the same basic premise, but there was more fighting in the original. I personally like this version better. I hope you do too.
TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE THANKSGIVING
(In the style of “Twas the night before Christmas” by Clement Clarke Moore)
By Todd Vogts
Twas the night before Thanksgiving, when all through the house,
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
Grandpa lied passed out near the fireplace without a care,
In hope that morning and more wine would soon be there.
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of football danced in their tiny heads.
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled down for a long winter’s nap.
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew in quite the hurry,
I feared it again was my drunk cousin Murray.
I opened the window and looked out at the grass below,
At first it was hard to see because of the falling snow.
But threw the flakes a horrifying sight began to appear.
It was a platoon of turkeys armed with weapons of fear.
Standing at the front was one mean, evil looking bird,
I knew in a moment it must be the leader, a turkey named Ferd.
More rapid than speeding gazelle his soldiers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name.
“Now, Giblet! Now, Guss! Now, Julio and Dracul!
On everyone! We must punish this sickly human fool!
Attack him and his family with as much malice as you contain,
For he plans to eat our brothers and sisters, regardless of the pain!”
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When met with an obstacle, explosions filled the sky.
So up to my gun cabinet I sprinted in my socks,
I spun the key and pulled out a pair of glocks.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard a terrifying sound on the hardwood floor.
It was the scratching and clawing of each bird walking toward my door.
As I cocked and drew my guns up to face my assassins and put up a fight,
A horrifying thought arched through my mind like a burst of white light.
Mamma in her ‘kerchief and the children nestled in bed!
If I didn’t get to them, they’d surely end up cold and dead!
I threw open the door and began to rescue my loved ones,
When Ferd came around the corner pointing two shotguns.
He was dressed like a soldier with camouflage from head to foot.
Due to my house being fully enflamed his clothes were covered with soot.
His eyes gleamed with angry rage, and his beak was hooked into an evil grin.
He looked me in the face and said, “Do you not understand what could have been?
Instead of eating turkey and killing my brothers and sisters to fill your belly,
You could have save yours and your family’s lives by simply eating jelly.”
I knew not what to say, but the Ferd didn’t need or want to hear my reply.
He let out a squawk and two turkeys grabbed me; it was time for me to die.
I was drug by my arms out of the burning house and into the snow.
I saw my wife and kids tied up with cooking twin fashioned into a bow.
Next to them was a large, black kettle with a roaring fire blazing just below.
Inside water boiled vegetables, and a flock of turkeys were waiting for the show.
A turkey wearing a white chef’s hat held in his beak a long, serrated knife,
I watched in horror as into the boiling water he forced my children and wife.
As I watched the stew of my loved ones come to a boil,
My bowels let go and loudly my pants I did soil.
I giggled as it became clear the turkeys were turning the tables this year
My mind snapped as I quickly lost my mind and my own laughter filled my ear.
As the turkeys hefted me and dropped me into the pot so from me they could eat,
I said aloud, “Happy Thanksgiving to all, and you think I’ll be the dark meat?”