At the next table


At the next table

At the next table, a woman says,
“If he comes to my funeral,
throw him out–
in the most public

I think of my luck–how even you
who I dreamed, at the worst,
bathed your hands in my
split torso,
balming your bits
with my blisters–
the wrong we rubbed–

how even all that
has puckered now
to a pin-pricking
of far caught stars, their collective
burn only sort of seen
in the over-arching onyx of age, skinned velvet.

The woman, who sits
with her children, or maybe two children
and one child’s mate, says, “I love you both,
but I do have power.”
Although, then–pause–as their side of the table
shifts back, she reaches out
a hand–“Sweetheart–”

You can see what she wants–
what she wants wholly
but cannot wholly give–
not enough, at least, to not want so much,
which is part of the giving–

Her face, just across
the white linen landscape,
makes me, for an instant,
want to weep for someone–
maybe her,
maybe them,
maybe you–

A draft poem means just written.  I am posting belatedly for With Real Toads Open Link Night. 

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9 Comments on “At the next table”

  1. Abhra Pal Says:

    “Her face, just across
    the white linen landscape,
    makes me, for an instant,
    want to weep for someone–”

    Really like the close here. The attachment to someone else can sometimes be powerful. Beautifully handled.

  2. There is so much poignant story here–beautiful writing!

  3. Brian Miller Says:

    maybe all of them…
    to feel powerless and take power back any way that you can…
    would be sad to deny someone, any one the right to grieve…

  4. grapeling Says:

    that’s a vivid and visceral 2nd verse, K, and tees up the emotion in the final. such a face ~

  5. Jinksy Says:

    not enough to not want so much,
    which is part of the giving–

    How profound is that? Sounds like somebody needs to learn how to forgive, to love and let go of things both good and bad in a relationship. Your words certainly packed a punch…

  6. Just another poem that confirm for me your brilliance as a writer.

    I’m in awe.

  7. hedgewitch Says:

    This is just exquisite, K. So sorry to have missed it–yesterday was just a wash for me. I also like the second stanza but it’s the intricate progression from self to other and finally back to self that makes this work for me–how others emotions are both so easy and so hard to understand, and then, of course, our own. A bittersweet love poem that goes just that bit beyond a love poem and becomes purely itself.(And you say you’re not a poet!)

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