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Dining Out
Anita S. Pulier


Have you dined with us before?
the handsome young waiter asks,

No, I answer.
Are you excited?

Excited? about dinner?
I answer:
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,
but pleased.
Think the chef will accept pleased?

© by Anita S. Pulier.
Used with the author’s permission.


Anita S. Pulier is a retired attorney who, many years ago, traded legal writing for poetry. She and her husband, Myron, pursue a bi-coastal life between New York City and Los Angeles, where they are daily hikers in the NYC parks and the Santa Monica mountains. Anita has been very involved in the Southern California poetry community and, recently, even Myron (a retired psychiatrist) has taken up poetry! Anita’s poems have appeared in numerous print and online journals and her work is included in nine print anthologies. The author of multiple collections, her most recent is Paradise Reexamined. Learn more about Anita at






Post New Comment:
Lori Levy:
Like the humor in this poem.
Posted 08/19/2019 10:48 PM
Fun that the poem touches on the expectations of a egotistical chef.
Posted 08/19/2019 08:19 AM

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