Memory of Bones
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The table is old and worn
nicks and scratches
its red plastic tablecloth left over from a forgotten Christmas
its holiday pattern worn and forlorn
many a Thanksgiving dinner was hosted
the plump turkey as dry as yesterday
many wars were waged
because father or mom,
many school projects worked on till late,
because of school
this table has withstood much,
many dinners of love or cold silence,
as warm lamps are downturned
Hearing only the hum of lights burning
a broadcast of the nightly news babbling
all in the family noise droning
in the background, as the night bleeds in…
with no one watching or caring only waiting,
a held moment of breath
a suspended minute of wrath
shadowed by the turn of affairs,
this table worn, old, covered in nicks
scratches, its tattered red plastic tablecloth
left over from a forgotten Christmas long
long ago, its holiday pattern is worn and forlorn,
many a Thanksgiving dinner devoured or picked on
I sit before the green mid-century plate
where forgotten flowers drift,
I feel anger, rage, I feel the sorrow for the past
A few joys glitter like stars in the vastness of my deep history,
feeling the storm always waiting to break,
a clash of things better left unsaid or unseen,
too much too soon or what shouldn't have been,
Or what should have been
feeling my age
trying to dampen the rage
watching fold of ages
feeling the turning pages
“eat your all your dinner, there are people starving in Africa!”
I jerk around to see a face never forgotten. Mom?
“I don’t want to” I petulantly whine.
“You will! AND you will like it!”
My father says with a tone of thunder storm
with a possible lightning strike of a backhand
across any possible exposed edifice of my make
the fish just sits, caught by my deviant other and his sycophants,
meager is this fish in a meager time,
the ice is thin on the skeletons of trees,
as thin as sandwiches, remembering the grime
feeling out of my element, the broken elegance of memory
I stare into the dead eyes of that dead fish
small, meager, thin in a thin time
as our houses sit vacantly
no occupants to warm up their halls
no money, flowing to needy hands
I struggle to meet this meager fishes gaze
Filleted on my mid-century plate
with forgotten floral patterns out of place
I hate fish, but if not eaten the insults will fly
my starving stomach calls for this thin meal
But I can hear Mom state in a meager way
about meager things, things of importance...
The importance of being “grateful” she drones on…
I sit and I struggle to meet this meager fishes gaze
sitting on my mid-century plate
a white floral pattern out of place
a stinking meager fish caught just out in the sea.
“Be careful of the fishbones,
dear," mom drones as she always does...
"They are a choking hazard...
"... you can choke to death!" my dad in tones.
So now I hate fish don’t you see
l flinch at the
MEMORY of Bones... caught, if you will, in my imagery
Tracing the patterns,
paths of something filleted
on my mid-century dish…
…of a table old n worn
with nicks n scratches...
Covered by a red plastic
left over from a forgotten
Christmas long, long ago
its holiday pattern is worn n forlorn
many a Thanksgiving
dinner came n went with
a thin turkey as dry as yesterday...
Ha! How I…
… how I remember that fish!
Copyright © Poet Tellaferro | Year Posted 2023
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