waitress poems

Friday, November 25, 2005

THE NAP AFTER THANKSGIVING DINNER

After the table has been cleared of its clatter and glass,
it starchy comforts, fattened grudges...
After the toast has been made and the often abandoned God
lured back to preside
over another restive and imperfect feast...
After hours, years, a lifetime of travel,
the precarious balance of weariness and hope
that tossed you up in this moment,
among the pocked and glowing faces
you call your precious own...
After the dark wine has flooded your veins,
and the sacrificial bird been
gleaned of its pale flesh...
After the drone and passion of distant games
have pulled the men to the living room,
and drawn their roar, their deepest sigh...
After the coffee’s been poured around the table
where the women whisper and scoff and slice more pie...
After a sweet smoke on the grass
where the first chill of the season
penetrates your thin sweater, your narrow city shoes
and fills you with half-forgotten longings...
After the phone calls from distant towns,
bland wishes and crackling silences renewed...
Then comes the hour of reckoning: the nap:
the torpor and satiety of twilight,
a blanket pulled from your childhood closet, thick slumber.
This is an hour that is not discrete, its own,
but a distillation of every nap you ever stole
after every heavy meal
when you battled emptiness with bright scenes,
lucid voices, the undeniable rise and fall of gratitude
inside your every breath.

17 Comments:

  • No compliment I can pay could do this poem justice, but still I am compelled. So, I printed it out.

    By Blogger Raven, at 7:53 PM  

  • You capture the moment perfectly and made me feel so secure, so comfortable. Beautifully written!

    By Blogger Sharon Hurlbut, at 10:52 PM  

  • Beautiful, Patry. This poem's rhythm almost makes it sound like a lullaby. I love the scenes you portray.

    By Blogger Anna Piutti, at 7:06 AM  

  • this is a beautiful poem. so precariously balanced tip-toing on so many emotions and yet holding on to itself. Wonderful! :-)

    Cheers

    Dan

    By Blogger Dan Husain, at 8:00 AM  

  • Really nice!

    By Blogger Christine, at 8:28 AM  

  • This is like holding your breath till the last moment, it takes you through the common place yet each thing sygnificant translates into family gatherings in every home, the wishings the longings, beautiful

    By Blogger Sue hardy-Dawson, at 1:59 PM  

  • Oh, yeah!

    I took a nap. Just like that. :-)

    By Blogger MB, at 4:43 PM  

  • I love the way this moves simultaneously out in space and time and in to heart and soul. Warts and all is the best kind of beauty.

    By Blogger Bill, at 6:20 AM  

  • For me there is a lot of pain and suffering in this poem. It's very cinematic. I find the imagery tragic and disturbing, not comforting...

    By Blogger ISLAND MONKEY, at 4:14 PM  

  • "bland wishes and crackling silences renewed"

    My favorite line. It captures the inadequacy/adequacy and depth/shallowness of relationships over the telephone.

    By Blogger mermaid, at 6:51 PM  

  • Thanksgiving can be so rough. Used to be replete with laughter and music and family. Then everyone died.

    I didn't, though. And I will laugh and dance and hold tightly my own.

    By Blogger Erin O'Brien, at 1:40 AM  

  • The gathering is always an exhausting event but at the end of the day, the host is compelled to reflect the worthiness of the preparation. Your poem dercribed well the ordeal from the beginning to the end of being left alone to regather oneself once again.

    By Anonymous Danny, at 10:40 AM  

  • Just found your site. I waited tables for 10 years. Reading this blog will be fun.

    By Blogger Enemy of the Republic, at 12:02 PM  

  • Just found your site. I waited tables for 10 years. Reading this blog will be fun.

    By Blogger Enemy of the Republic, at 12:02 PM  

  • A warm and tasty poem that reminds me of Christmas dinners of my childhood and Chinese New Year dinners, too. I especially liked "dark wine" which reminded me, although I'm not sure why - magic chemistry, perhaps - of a line from an old Donovan song from light years ago: "maroon-coloured wine from the vineyards of Charlemagne".

    By Blogger Stranger Ken, at 2:40 PM  

  • I like the description that this is "cinematic." The pace is lullaby-like perhaps but that is because it is the pace of a documantary. After you have shown us all the real scene, you have the really great talent to help us understand (in the last three lines)just why it was so important to look at our lives.

    I found myself holding my breath.

    By Blogger Russell Ragsdale, at 5:24 PM  

  • So very bittersweet...right down to the childhood blanket.

    And I feel so very fortunate to have a family home to visit and family, however dysfunctional we may be, to visit with on Harvest Day,
    Thanksgiving.

    By Blogger chuck, at 10:42 PM  

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