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
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.