From where I am I can hear it all—
I hear the table aching, bemoaning
the weight of ten bone china plates,
the soup terrine with the lion on its lid
intrepid with its claws widely spread, however
decapitated. As the parlor pools with sounds,
I listen to its scorn—the walls swell,
swish, like a hostess flicking her skirt back
and forth as to hush her dirt-dissing guests.
I hear the rusting of locks, the yellow vulgarities
of some mums in scalloped pots, the shrieking
of a maidenhair leaning into the radiator’s
Most persistently I can hear the fruit rot
in pop-pop’s copper basket, but not
hovering above it—new-born, they
about our voicing of hunger. I listen to the graying
of my mother’s hair as she enters
of Brussels sprouts and purple giblets.
Like drunkards warbling, both dishes try to shout
each other out. I hear them sing, “we
win, we win.”
Dad gets up, takes his pipe, his paper, his pygmy
glass trembling with jenever and disengages.
I am not here, nor have I ever been.
Elisabeth Majewski is a native from Eindhoven, The Netherlands. She works as a part-time English instructor at Montgomery County Community College and is a freelance translator in Dutch, French and German. Her poetry has been published in French by the La Fontaine poetry association at www.lafontaine.net. Elisabeth lives in Gilbertsville, PA.