The flavor of blood is evident

in meat—no matter the kind of meat:

turkey meat

chicken meat

pork meat


meat—no matter the amount of salt

it won’t cover up



chewing each fibered

morsel tender, carful

not to bite bones—grinding

meat in clenched

teeth, swallowing—



the meat came from somewhere else—

someone else hacked it—

we didn’t have to watch, so we chew,

forgetting until the metallic iodine

salty blood hits the tastebuds and we chew




ignore the plasma on the tongue, pretend

it wasn’t once

a bird

a cow

a deer

an elk




that would cluck or suck-

up slop in the fields


forget it once had


a face

a mother

a dream—



while giving thanks

sitting around thanksgiving

tables with thanksgiving

forks thanksgiving

knifes digging into thanksgiving


thank the soul with the life

stolen from it—its carcass

slipped between

lips to a grinning





© All Rights Reserved Caroline Adele O’Brien


3 thoughts on “GIVING THANKS

  1. Caroline, this is a very powerful message, beautifully penned. Thanksgiving looked upon from a different perspective:
    ‘ thank the soul with the life
    stolen from it—’
    And the imagery is so vivid, I can taste blood as I read it.

    • Thank you, so much, Irina! 🙂 Yes, I suppose it is a different take on Thanksgiving. Hahaha! I remember sitting in my high school science class, listening to the teacher preach about how a human’s life was worth more than a cow’s life, which is worth more than a pig’s life, which is worth more than a fish’s life, etc.–and it made me so angry! Just because they’re smaller than us, or can’t speak our language, or can’t stand up for themselves, doesn’t mean their life is worth less than ours–so the theme tends to appear in my work over and over again. I’m glad to hear that the imagery came across the way I intended it to. Thank you for your lovely comment, Irina! 🙂

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