Thursday, July 30, 2009

At the Crowded Dinner Table

At the crowded dinner table
The room's too small for elbows.
The guest on my left
Asks for the salt at my right hand.
I lose the taste for it
And hand her the shaker.

At the crowded dinner table
From the farthest corner
Someone waves at me
And wants my attention
And wants the sour cream.
I want to give her neither.

At the crowded dinner table
Of this farewell party
The emcee calls for silence and a toast.
Tomorrow's on my mind
In thirty tarnished pieces.
I push my seat, unquiet.

At the crowded dinner tables
In a busy bistro
I'm getting a filling for my sweet tooth
And my newspaper says
A billion bodies hunger till it hurts
And my waiter comes again with the menu.

At the crowded dinner table
In the home where I lie at night
I hope no one sees me
Sitting on my soul
And holding my breath
While God is starving.


Anonymous said...

True poetry, this one is! Exploring how one turns down relationships through food metaphors (salt, cream, etc) is an interesting twist of lemon. Doing this to make God happy may actually do quite the opposite. Misunderstand we all do.

Anthony Zuba said...

Though you flatter me too much with respect to the quality of my writing, Anonymous, generally you've got the right idea about the message of this one.

Anonymous said...

I think I get it. You turn down sour, sweet, and salty. Interesting that you do not turn down, or refer to, the final option, bitter. What does this mean?

Anthony Zuba said...

You always find meaning in details that don't mean so much to me. I didn't notice that three of the basic tastes were mentioned or that one was omitted. Interesting, but you might be looking too closely, reading too deeply, into the symbolism of tastes.

Focus less on "turning down a taste" and more on "losing the taste" for something (cf. Matthew 5:13). The speaker craves relationships but has become a flavorless person that no one, either God or other persons, can savor.

Anonymous said...

You are confusing bitter with flavorless. One can savor bitter. One could even savor flavorless. Consider texture as an example.