The Dining Room Table


is the universal receiver of all

letters that will be answered and filed soon

and bills to be paid next month and the sprawl

of folders on diets and the health effects of prunes.

It’s the holder of everyday intentions

to make some sort of conscientious order

of what we’d forget if put away. The tension

of undone work turns a table into a hoarder

that could say, “I know it’s in here somewhere.”

Yet, the presence of some trivial burdens

are motes defining light-rays shafting the air.

These small tasks we see remain blurred on

the outer edge of our visual periphery,

to be completed by the vagaries of industry.



The Quart-Size Strainer,


having given up its childhood ambition

to be a catcher’s mask, still sees itself thrown

off ceremonially as the catcher runs to position

himself to snare a pop foul. Standing alone,

the catcher puts on his mask and squats behind

home plate.

How spaghetti’s rinsed with cold water,

so their strands won’t stick together, reminds

him that he is made of mere mesh; that order

of wires and space, with a handle of wood.

Yet under the faucet he feels the Zen

of being in the flow. He guesses it’s good

holding rinsed string beans for string bean julienne;

but to be a hero, no one can replace—

ah! to be a catcher’s mask and save a catcher’s face!


by Marc Tretin


Marc Tretin’s writing has been published or is forthcoming in Bayou Magazine, Crack The Spine, Diverse Voices Quarterly, The Griffin, Lullwater Review, The Massachusetts Review, The New York Quarterly, The Painted Bride, Paperstream, The Penmen Review, The Saint Ann’s Review, The Round, Whistling Shade, Ghost Town Literary Magazine, and Willow Review, and he was the second runner-up for the Solstice literary magazine poetry prize in 2013. Conferences Marc has attended include 92nd Street Y, Colrain, and the West Chester Poetry Conference. He has studied with David Yezzi, Molly Peacock, Rachel Zucker, William Packard, and Emily Fragos.

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