Setting a Table for Death and Memory

A mirror near a wine glass,
Black iron forks and knives,
I set a table brimming full
Before the guests arrive.

I need not write out place cards.
My guests will fall in line.
They know their roles and stations
At the table that is mine.

I string the beads and baubles,
Lay hyacinths and vines,
Put out the pats of butter,
Warm the bread ahead of time.

I set a place for Memory,
Who needs a silver cup
To better hold her many tales
And fill the goblet up.

Grief asked for nothing on her plate.
Lust asked for cherry wine.
Love wished to never sit alone
So that she would not pine.

For Pride, the gold-flecked salad plate.
For Wisdom tea and grain
Creativity required all the spoons
For Reason coffee plain.

I paused a moment at the chair
Of jeweled gray stone and sand,
For Death had asked for nothing
But the pleasure of my hand.

A lifetime’s work completed,
The table long and fair.
And all the guests arrive in time
Each is awaited there.

Memory sits at the far end.
Death sits at my right.
The guests discuss and chuckle
Bathed in beeswax candlelight.

The mind is a proper hostess,
And so she bids them stay.
But as the dawn commences,
The ghosts they must away.

The body then awakens
To the calmness of the light,
Without a thought to all the work
That went on through the night.


GRRR – Ok, I know I have a better ending in my brain somewhere. This poem is wily, and does not want me to put it down.

Soon though, it’ll come to me.

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