Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Nobody Bonds with the Hostess

by Roberta Brown

My dinner party days are over.
They were not all good, I promise,
but some were downright magical.
Most lay somewhere in the middle: good meals,
convivial atmosphere, appropriate music.
The cocktails and wine did their work--relaxing
expressions, raising voices, sharpening appetites.

But I was outside all of that, open concept aside.
I was making sure something did not overcook
in the oven or scorch on the stove.
I was mixing drinks, uncorking bottles, brewing coffee,
making room in the fridge.
I was recounting place settings, serving, clearing,
loading the dishwasher.

I was in the thick of it, of course.
One might say even the center,
and yet outside too, until one night,
it all came clear.

Two friends who knew each other
casually but had never connected,
both married to other people,
also present of course,
hit it off, talking all night,
moving outside, then in, then back out again.

At dessert, their shoulders touched,
and John said, “Carol and I are bonding!”
as if celebrating something that
should have happened years ago.

It occurred to me then that nobody bonds with the hostess.

* * * * *

Roberta Brown ã2017.  All rights reserved. No use without written permission of the author.

Roberta Brown is an Assistant Professor of English Composition at Western New Mexico University in Silver City, New Mexico.

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