Thanksgiving Helper Hotline addresses pressing holiday issues

Q: How do I keep the conversation from turning to politics?

A: This year? You might as well try avoiding the word "stuffing." But if someone mentions politics, divert them by mentioning the Twinkie turkey stuffing.

Q: Do you have a Thanksgiving poem to make me forget my Thanksgiving worries?

A: Try this snippet of Mary Oliver's "Praying."

It doesn't have to be

the blue iris, it could be

weeds in a vacant lot, or a few

small stones; just

pay attention, then patch

a few words together and don't try

to make them elaborate, this isn't

a contest but the doorway

into thanks, and a silence in which

another voice may speak.

mschmich@tribune.com

CHICAGO

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