J.K. Durick

Dinner Guest

Now, he’s up the front steps, across the porch
Standing at the door, ready to ring the bell
A bottle of white wine in one hand, vaguely
Remembers them saying something about fish,
Hopes for swordfish or tuna again, so the wine

Flowers for the hostess, of course, will make
Her smile, will help smooth things over, that
Awkwardness awaiting this visit covered
By this flashy bouquet and then the stories
Thought through, selected for the occasion

The one about visiting the zoo, that monkey
That kept waving till he waved back, the one
About losing his cell phone on the train, and
If all else fails, the one about Aunt Martha’s
Last day, the phone call, then what she said

He pauses just a moment, rocks back a bit
Adjusts his collar, collects his thoughts, his
Well planned plan, his greetings and his gifts
Polite, gracious, reserved, not like last time
Reaches, pushes the bell, and expects an answer.