Sheena Blackhall

Gold Star - 6,611 Points (18/8/1947 / Aberdeen)

The Waiter - Poem by Sheena Blackhall

Tonight I am going to be a waiter
From yesterday's empty streets
Mysterious dinner guests will arrive
At a time of their own choosing

First to appear, my father
Ever early. His cutlery placed
Four centimetres apart,
And not a smidgeon more

He will sit above the salt
The patriarch, head of the house
We will drink to death and grief
In the blood of our joined history

My mother will come in a trail of perfume
She will require a rack of empty hangers
To accommodate her clothes and costume jewellery
Her furs will growl softly in a corner

My grandmother shall sit in the seat nearest the fire
I shall light candles around her
Offer flowers to kindness, charity, love

Grandfather's clock has been struck dumb
Invisible hands polish its frozen face

In the corner, the piano aches
For the touch of my absent brother

When he comes in, the strings
Under its lid will quiver
Like a barren woman seated by a cradle
Silenced music is a refinement of torture

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, May 15, 2012

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