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The Major Holidays

       In memory of James Tate (8 December 1943–8 July 2015)

The whole time I almost forgot about Unwise-mas, Unthink-mas,
and the Festival of Sullenness,
and how they all fell this year
in the month of the Day of Reckoning
and on the Eve of Canceled Reservations. And then
Padma came over on Retribution Monday
and wanted to know if we were going to have our usual party on
Happy Hour All Eve Saturday. That's when we said
it was unlikely because of a conflict: the next day was
Unholy Mother-in-Law Cataclys-mas.
But then, what do you know, Tony said: Let's check the calendar—
don't forget the New Moon's Shakespeare Fest.
No, I said correctingly, that's the Festival of Too Many Boxed Fish.
You're looking at August. Plus, the
Equinox of Noxiousness is right around the corner,
and the Laughing Sanitation Primary, and
pretty soon we'll hit right up against
the Hefty Food Poisoning Centennial,
and lt's obvious I Need to Parade My Pony with a President Anniversary,
and—oh no, I just about neglected to remember
Whistle Pig Appreciation Day.
There are the other days—they have names probably—
but those I mentioned,
those are the major holidays.

Lee Upton

The Georgia Review

Fall 2017

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