Winter Mourning

Photo by Peter Lewis on Unsplash

We sit on the dinner table
with our yellow lentils and igloo
portions of rice lumps in bowls once
meant for ice cream. Mustard
seeds float on the anorexic curry, bits
of mackerel swept to the edges
of an indifferent sea. We slurp,
we chew, chap-chap sounds considered rude
anywhere else. Snow accumulates
on a chair. We are family.

And families have dinner together.
Our tears are collected in little crystal
vials Daddy passes along and we sip on them
instead of water, handing down the spoons
and forks but hiding the carving
knives under our favourite funeral
suits. Stalagmites rise out
of a cushion. We are spinning
tops. Ballerinas trapped in the television
balance on their tippy-toes and keep
going round and round and
round. Once we have swallowed
our strawberry tears, let us imitate them.

This pinewood table is a graveyard
for dreams. I should leave but
the little starling flew without me.
We are family.