Thursday, December 6, 2007
THE BANQUET TABLE
At a meeting between brothers and sisters
A meal was placed before us.
A meal so savory and delectable that it made the mouth water.
Much like the juices that ran from the sides of beef
Garnished with vegetables;
Yams, greens , rice , cornbread with butter.
Fruit from all over the world painted our family table's center.
Silverware at each side of the plates before us,
Candles lighting the way to our stomach's delight,
-- Much like the presence of each family positioned around the table.
Water and nectar in chilled glasses filled to the brim.
With chunks of ice floating and bobbing at the top.
You can see the condensation dripping from the sides
Making liquid circles designating the place where glasses belong.
I can hear the stomachs of my brothers and sisters croaking like southern bullfrogs
Longing to be fed, longing to have their hunger fade.
Their eyes bugged and their teeth pressed.
Their fists clenched, and their breast raised.
The time to pounce was near but they all had to wait.
For Grace Had To Be Said.
Both sides made their way for the food.
Mashed potatoes were everywhere.
Corn on the cob hit and rolled along the floor.
The meat was ripped apart like jackals fighting for carcass.
Rice that could feed millions was spread far and wide.
And the yams, so sweet, so divine, so nourishing, became bitter with jealousy and contentment
when a bite was taken.
Nectar was spilt over the table by elbows fighting for space
As tidal waves of juice splashed across the table.
My water was caught in the excitement, and I knew, I would be thirsty.
The vulture flying over head didn't even stop,
For there was nothing to stop for.
All was waste.
All was lost in the food frenzy.
Clothes stained with food,
Feet wet with the mixture of water and sticky nectar.
The table, a collage of food stuff and broken plates,
And the hard work of blood, sweat, and tears
Instituted for years in the kitchens of our mother's and father's,
Were cast to the wind never to return.
And we all just stood there.
Looking at each other, in the face, into each other's eyes,
With our stomachs belching and calling for nourishment.
Wondering what had happened.
Looking for fault and blame.
Looking and begging to be fed.
The Banquet by Shazza Nakim
Copyright © by Peace of Mind Publishings and with permission by Shazza Nakim