Listen to the sound file
The table is laid
but it is not for me, I think-
there are better, stronger, wiser
who are not ashamed to speak-
to claim their seat.
Surely not I, the daughter unworthy,
the white-clad server
folding slippery napkins,
draping cloths, replacing vases.
I fill the salt shakers.
I clean the spills
while the people in neckties proclaim
Things of greater importance
than sweeping the crumbs and polishing
the glass goblets.
Even if I love the sound of my own voice as much as they
love theirs, I could never keep on speaking
with nothing new to say, so I walk away
sadly, knowing I am only good enough for them
when I’m behind the scenes, setting up chairs,
preening the egos of those who know
their sanctioned callings and star their leading roles,
who love a good show
and that’s what I give them with my nod and smile
every time they notice I’m
and they thank me
for making a sacrifice.
When my work is complete there is nothing left
but to turn off the lights and go home to bed.
I’ll likely cry myself to sleep;
why should I keep
trying to be somebody when the banquet is laid
but there’s not enough room…?
No, there is no place for me.
Written during a Story Sessions write-in. The prompt was the photo above taken by my friend Jennifer Upton.