Jan 13

Dinner Party

Lay the table,
Where all the women will be sat. 
Soft linen wraps her wooden body.
What once was a growing life, 
Feeds the darlings now. 
 Preparation chews up life- 
 All is ready. 

Mother is in the kitchen 
Abusing her steamed slop. 
 At least it’s warmth. 
May the grey mush wrap you close,
As she once did by her bosom 
Through these desolate winter shadows. 

The shawled parade marches in- 
The usual is discussed with a certain sullen longing. 
 And you’ve never felt more alone 
Trace the oaken figure with your fingertips, 
She whispers to do what you must. 
They continue the reminiscence as you slip into the night. 

Sighs of wandering souls claw desperately at your ears,
Strike up the flame, inhale its gift to you. 
Thank God for something, nothing, everything. 
And dwell on Mother. 
Are your footsteps just a prelude to her? 
       No, it doesn’t bear thinking about. 

Instead, spot those roaring beasts prowling past your gate. 
You could harness it, escape this town in a whirling rapture of wind and frost- 
But after that? Everything’s hazy.
The grey is certain. The shawls won’t be abandoned. 
So what can you do but march your way back in
‘Til next time.