The poems below were all written by me to my in-laws in appreciation for countless lunches, dinners, presents, etc., over many years.


T is for thanks: IOU such a debt!
H is for hundreds of meanings for “set.”
A for the Abrahams, in-laws sublime.
N: Naturally, we all had a good time.
K’s for the kindness you two have been showing--
S for the sadness we felt upon going.

R is for running to meet us on campus:
For some of those kids, I’m as old as their grampas.
And thank you for feeding us (in between presents):
I much prefer meat loaf to chutney and pheasants.
P’s for the pig: such a fine-looking porker,
Its por(k)trait belongs on the front of New Yorker.

A is for April: my wife and your daughter.
B is for Boy, am I happy I’ve got her!
R for regards to Lateefa and Phyllis—
A: Their Adventures Jamaican quite thrill us.
H is for help: Teefa frosted the cake--
A is for airplanes of paper I’ll make.
M is for many thanks, true and sincere.
‘Twas so fun, maybe I’ll have a birthday next year!


Thanksgiving dinner was extraordinaire:
From Houston and Austin they flocked for your fare.
We made conversation on neighborhood walks,
Then got education re Panama’s locks.
Last Friday’s luncheon was equally great:
We ate every food molecule off our plate.
You offered us petit fors, almonds and figs,
But nothing quite matches those three little pigs!!


When I turned 50,
It was so nifty
You fed us lunch—
So thanks a bunch!
That you would make
That EB cake,
Topped with ice cream,
Is just a dream!
That you'd be willing
To give us filling
For tacos—well,
That's really swell!
And I must thank
You for that bank
Shaped like a pig,
Which I can dig!
That lovely noon,
A bright balloon
Would come my way.
I got, that day,
A CD holder. . . .
So getting older
(Which could be sad)
Turned out not bad.
Thanks to you all,
I had a ball!

With highest regard,
Your son-in-law / bard


(Excuse the strong language:) I'm grateful as he*CENSORED*
To get, for my birthday, a very nice check.
With 40 crisp smackers in hand, I'd say this is
Right plenty to take out my mom and my Mrs.


Thank you for the pack
(Which, fastened to one's back,
Would be a "knap-" type sack).
A thing that I did lack,
It looks so good in black.
For the lunch (not just a snack)
At your home (not just a shack) —
All veggie (not a rack
Of lamb [or worse, of yak]) —
You two deserve a stack
Of plaudits, or a plaque.


As of Wednesday, the 9th of March 2011,
I'm 20 + 40 + 2 – 7.

To honor the day of my long-ago birth,
You cooked up a feast like no other on earth —
So we didn't much mind what it did to our girth.
(An appropriate touch for this boy, Texas born/bred:
A pan of fresh-baked Marie Callender's® cornbread.)

When luncheon was finished, topped off with some cake,
You gave me some skin you lopped off from some snake.
A little pink chew toy, designed for a dog,
Won't be going to Fido — it's mine! It's a hog!
An album called Encore, for violin and keyboard,
You gave us to play so that we wouldn't be bored.
So thank you for that: now we won't have to buy a
CD of Mark Cheikhet / Elena Portnaya.

For all of these things, every mouthful and present,
I thank you: you made number 55 pleasant!


First off, I want to state:
I'm sorry this is late —
Should not have made you wait
Until this tardy date.

Now for that lunch we ate:
Such goodies on each plate —
Wow! Everything was great!
Well worth the gain in weight.

For piggy and its mate,
And dollars (five times eight),
I must communicate
That I appreciate!

So I'll just say it straight:
Thank you! You are first-rate!


You honored my birthday with food, gifts, and laughter —
Though not on my birthday, but on the day after.

The Grillers® were grilled (with no cows being killed):
With the utmost of skill was each Griller® thus grilled.

Red veggies there were that just couldn't be beat!
They could, though, be beets, which to eat were a treat!

My parents-in-law served a transcendent slaw;
Fruit salad deserving a troubadour's ballad.
I was moved to say, "Please! Give me more mac & cheese!"
I was moved to munch bunches of crisp okra crunches.

So stuffed that my midsection hurt with an ache,
I managed to gobble dessert: carrot cake.

Then the eating was done, but not the good times:
We heard Mama Peggy recite some good rhymes
Enclosed in a card. Then she brought out some shelves
Displaying fine craftsmanship worthy of elves.

So: "Thanks for good times and good cooking," I say,
"On my post-natal drip. . . I mean, post-natal day!"