Eating at the table is a family affair,
The noises of consumption, fork to plate.
An occasional pea dropped in the gravy.
The crunch of fresh celery or a carrot.
A good meal defined by the scraps,
Those bits and pieces that are dropped,
Or purposefully place under the table.
Not necessarily on purpose but with purpose.
In between the bites, the hand to mouth movement,
There is the sparring of conversation,
Crumbs and snippets rolling off the tongue or
The fork of intended half consumption.
Every family does it with tacit agreement,
Scraps shoved under the table, dropped there.
If one were to glimpse beneath the table cloth,
That skirted vale hides the dogs of mendacity.
“Margret, how is Aunt Jane lately?”
(You mean the one with the fifth a day habit?)
“Fine, she’s off to a new adventure this year.”
(She’s going to try to dry out again before her liver dies.)
“I saw that new girl in town is dating Frank.”
(Frank is bagging that new girl, only one left to bag.)
“Yes he is and I really think she is a match for him.”
(Everyone else has had them, they might as well have each other.)
“Mom these mashed potatoes are really the greatest.”
(Damn things are lumpy again, after sixty years get it right!)
Pop, your garden is going to be the best you ever planted.”
(If you would weed it once in awhile we could find the ripe veggies.)
Table scraps….you never know who dropped them,
You never know which hound is going to snap them up,
You never know how long they will stay beneath the table.
Maybe only until someone slips and drops a chunk of meat.
Copyright: 2009, Donald Harbour
Donald, I positively LOVE your poetry. It is so real, so relevant, so true. Thank you, thank you, for sharing your gift, for sharing these gifts.