Have you dined with us before?
the handsome young waiter asks,
No, I answer.
Are you excited?
Excited? about dinner?
let's try interested,
curious, hungry, or pleased.
Will this news insult the Chef?
Will he undercook the peas,
scatter the broccoli,
fail to debone the fish,
underwhip the cream?
I bring to this table
a lifetime of meals prepared
for children and grandchildren,
for this man beside me gone grey,
for aging parents' ashes scattered,
and to every meal rich memories
of rushing from work
to set a table, fold napkins, place cutlery,
broil, bake, and roast while
worshiping the god of family dinners,
desperate to invoke
the promise of storybook endings,
despite knowing that the kids
had pizza on the way home from school.
Excited? Not really,
Think the chef will accept pleased?
© by Anita S. Pulier.
Used with the authorís permission.