We have shared our table with friends these last few days. A reminder of its gift.
by Michael O’Siadhail
Let the meal be simple.
A big plate of mussels,
warm bread with garlic,
and enough mulled wine to celebrate
I open a hinged mussel,
pincering a balloon of plump meat
from the blue angel wings of a shell.
A table’s rising decibels of fun.
Such gossip. A story caps a story.
Banter. Then another pun on a pun.
Iced yoghurt snipes at my temples.
My tongue matches a strawberry’s heart
with its rough skin of goose-pimples.
Conversations fragment. Tête-à-tête,
a confidence passes between two guests.
A munch of oatcake thickness my palate.
Juicy fumes of a mango on my breath.
(A poem with no end but delight.)
I knife to the oblong host of its pith.
Wine sinks its ease to the nerve-ends.
Here are my roots. I feast on faces.
Boundless laughter. A radiance of friends.
Collected Poems, Bloodaxe, 2013.
Image: Dinner Table by Isaac Rudansky