Guest Poet Paula Grenside

When Food Gets Cold

He wins the door
says he will be back
in no time -

The table lays set
a plate with meat so thick
well done as he prefers
the knife has left a cut
that slowly fills with sauce
doodling white porcelain -
The glass of wine half empty
bears wet imprints of lips -

She waits and smells the
poignant smell of absence -
The meat shows gaping open wound
the edges sticky with blood-like grumes -

She sits and stares at  crumbs
strewn on the checked tablecloth -
In hops and skips from white to red 
a blackbird is checkmating his ADIEU -

March, 1999

Paula Grenside's Questions:

1- Is the metaphor of the food getting cold effective in conveying the end of a love story?

2- Do the last two lines show the "ironical" reaction of the "she" to his lover's vanishing?

Cleaning the Day

A slice of afternoon,
cut thin by the kitchen blind,
is laid across the table;
it fills my eyes with its red sponge
exhaling summer scent
from the oven of the day.

I wipe and wipe to remove the residues
of a day I want to erase;
in shiny crumbs, it fragments, spirals,
melts in the gray dust on the floor.

In the penumbra,
I listen to my thoughts unfolding
past songs I'd say forgotten;
they chatter at the temples.
Then whispered sounds,
like puffs of breeze,
reveal a body arching
at the touch of searching fingers
they melt and clean the ice of memory.

March, 1999

Paula Grenside's Questions:

Is the imagery suitable to contrast the summer day, the speaker's need to revisit painful (cold) memory, and the cleaning of the mind and heart opening to a new spring?

The Albany Poetry Workshop