I’m enjoying dipping into Mary Meriam’s The Lillian Trilogy, a triumvirate of poetry collections, a compilation, a three of her collections in one book.
This season being stuffed like a stocking the size of a soul with family, the exiled, the runaways, the living, the loved, the dead, I offer Meriam’s “Dinner.”
Tonight I set the dinner table for
the remnants of my phantom family.
Here is the marriage spent in fantasy,
here is my stillborn brother, here is war
that wiped out all my relatives and tore
my mother’s mind to pieces, here is me,
here is a place beside me for big tree.
And here’s my sister shot down with a roar.
We flipped and landed upside down in hell,
no parachutes, just higher, hotter flames
burning our places right down to our names.
The empty plates have nothing left to tell.
Here is a table, here a fork and knife.
here is the phantom of a better life.
Mary Meriam, The Lillian Trilogy, Headmistress Press, 2015.