Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Church Banquet

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.


  1. Um... yep. Know this well.

  2. Yeah. Sigh... I am writing from my history more than my present. I feel no further obligation to stay in such places.


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