At the Table

If only someone would ask
the right questions—
who knows what secrets
might be revealed,
what depths might be touched.
Some of us wait our whole lives
for an opportunity that never comes:
a chance to be opened up
on the butcher block of truth.

We couldn’t be blamed if our truth
escaped us in the form of an answer,
but to speak it without invitation
would be some egregious violation
of propriety and order
and just might upset the very balance
of the natural world.

Still, no one asks the interesting questions,
and it isn’t clear whether it’s courtesy
or lack of curiosity that keeps the
conversation so placid and tedious
and breathtakingly far
from what I really want to know,
which is Why did you leave?
Why did you stay?  How bad does it hurt?
What would have changed your mind?
What would you give, trade or say
if you could just___?

Once or twice, I’ve been there—
on the brink of blurting out
some tidbit so delicious
it would give everyone permission
to follow into the undiscovered world
of common denominators,
but even I have felt the restraint of
decorum and good manners.

And maybe a busy restaurant
in the middle of a sunny afternoon
isn’t the right place for exposure.
And maybe the company is wrong too
if what you want
is to get to the bottom of things.
The bottom, after all, is that place
we all know how to find
but only some of us want to admit it,
and talk about the beauty
that we found there.

DeMaris Gaunt

4 thoughts on “At the Table”

  1. Hello, there’s a poet I follow who’s asking for links to poetry posts his followers particularly liked and I’d like to nominate this piece with your permission. Here’s the link At the beginning at 2015, I made a pledge to myself that my canon for the year would hold optimism than it did in 2014. Truth is, it’s been a challenge right from the beginning of January, when I found out my employer was shutting its doors and I, along with 17,000 people company-wide, joined […]

    ANNOUNCEMENT: Anniversary Week 2015
    poetry His work is some of the best I’ve found on wordpress. Let me know if it’s ok if I share this piece.

    Liked by 1 person

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