Author’s note: I wrote this poem from a memory of our “family” dinners, which were not really family dinners. There were four of us (Mom, Dad, my brother, me). Each of us seemed to float in our own little bubble, and this included meals. The contrast between family dinners and our isolated lives was dramatic for me.
The Loneliness of Supper
It was such a splintered time. We ate in shifts
at the Formica table. Mom, always worried
about her weight, settled in with her diet: steak
and iceberg lettuce drizzled with vinegar
and Wesson oil. Dad worked late. Ate elsewhere.
Kid brother’s meal was mobile and quick
just before Little League or whatever he did. And I,
the fussy eater, nibbled on pizza pockets warmed
in the toaster or plain tuna on Wonder Bread
or some careless dish as I paged through Modern Screen
and Motion Picture and imagined the stars aligned
at supper, dining with cloth napkins and real plates,
awash in witty conversation where someone, anyone,
asked how was your day?
Irene Fick’s poem was published in the Delmarva Review, Volume 12. Her second collection of poetry, The Wild Side of the Window, was published by Main Street Rag (2018) and received a first-place award from The National Federation of Press Women, as did her first book, The Stories We Tell (The Broadkill Press, 2014). Her poems have been published in Poet Lore, Gargoyle, the Broadkill Review, Philadelphia Stories and (forthcoming) The Blue Mountain Review.
Delmarva Review selects the best of new short fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction from thousands of submissions annually. The literary journal is a nonprofit supported by sales, contributions, and a grant from the Talbot County Arts Council with funds from the Maryland State Arts Council. Print and digital editions are sold by Amazon, major online booksellers, and local bookstores. For submissions and information, visit: DelmarvaReview.org.