The Anniversary

The restaurant is empty
otherwise, and cold.
We hide behind
our menued walls.

From some corner then begins
recorded sounds of violins.
The music rounds the edges of
the silence, gives a covering.
A candle burns between us,
leans us in.

My voice makes itself small,
the way it always does
when I say something true
and long-kept-in.
And as I speak I try
to use my voice to keep
your eyes on mine.

The words released play briefly
in the tiny praying of the flame,
the violins.

You smile at me distractedly
and then declare
"I think I'll try the fish."

I feel myself inside myself
abruptly turn and bolt away
(a soul seeks refuge, keeps its rage)
while speaking in an empty
distant voice of petty things,
of snowtires and insulation.

I know that as we leave you'll ask
again about my meal,
as if that were the reason
that we'd come;
as if this altar were a simple
table afterall;
as if no offering had been made.

My voice is like a weathervane.
Its indications you must know by now.
But you are off again in some
preoccupation of your own,
oblivious to subtle changes in the wind,
surprised by unanticipated storms.

-- Deb Cooper

Send Comments to Greg Gordon MD, CFI, cydoc@earthlink.net
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