FLAT DWELLERS

Posted by Admin on Monday, 2nd February 2009, 00:00

Although she lives and eats alone,
she lays her table as for years
her ladyship’s own meals were set,
with surplus cutlery, a finger-bowl,
and, though she drinks no wine, a glass
reflects her burnished napkin-ring –
the whole displayed on lace-edged, fine
old linen, with culinary recipes
prepared by patient hands.

Below, on bare Formica top,
he uses plastic, stainless steel,
to meet his frugal needs – from day
to day makes one plate serve where strict
propriety would call for two or three –
nor clears his board of bottled sauce,
of cruet, butter-dish, when meals
he’s cooked in haste have disappeared –
their quality a thing of no concern.

Then she, with nothing but the past
to occupy her mind, will fill
the empty laggard hours with dull
domestic chores – extract each mote
of dust – with beeswax polish rub
dark oak – produce a mirror image of
her single piece of Meissen and
his lordship’s gift of jade.

While he, his restless mind astir,
impatient of all wasted time
and eager for his keyboard’s quick
response, will chase elusive words,
tap rhythms, mutter rhymes, and feel,
as poets always have and shall,
creative work’s sheer agony –
the fee that must be paid.

T. C. Hudson

© T. C. Hudson.

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