Join the Neopoet online poetry workshop and community to improve as a writer, meet fellow poets, and showcase your work. Sign up, submit your poetry, and get started.

The Other End of the Table

It is harshly distant -
as if looking over an unearthed field
stretched out beneath a thin, gray sky.

There is your chair,
your aura timely wrapped
around the wood, the frame,
the scratches in the paint.

I pass the evening with a slice of toast,
one small potato -
reflections of things that are only
part of something else,
something once whole.

There is a meaningless
silence out the window,
and I stand to take my dishes to the sink.
Approaching thunder rumbles
as I turn to touch your chair,

as I've done each night before.


Style / type: 
Free verse
Review Request (Intensity): 
I appreciate moderate constructive criticism
Editing stage: 
Content level: 
Not Explicit Content


Thank you for your encouraging comments and sentiment. The slice of toast and potato were meant to reflect on the mere trifling dinner, which at one time was a full meal with two connected people. In this case, my late husband and myself. Very seldom do I sit down to a formal dinner as I did before. Just one of the many habits that lose their purpose. I am so grateful for your kind words!

author comment


author comment

those last two lines alone speak of the immense loneliness that, actually, prevails through your entire poem. Please tell us that you took poetic license when you spoke of your desolate loneliness. Wish there was a way to cheer you up. Otherwise--yours is a wonderful poem. Jerry Van . . . . husband passed many years ago, but you know the poetic process - always there right below the surface. Maybe the uncertainty of these days stirs it a bit, too. But, I am well!
Thank you, Jerry!

author comment

Dear L, what a lovely poem. I can well imagine how you feel, or felt when writing this piece. My husband died many years ago, so I emphasize with your not bothering much about meals. I do hope it's a bit metaphoric, meaning that you eat a little more than a potato and a slice of toast...
I do buy myself some prepared stuff, such as lasagna and other things, maybe grated cheese! And lots of veggies that come already cut up, inside a bag...and all sorts of fruits.
The ending says it all, it is extraordinary.

"Approaching thunder rumbles
as I turn to touch your chair,

as I've done each night before."

I'm leaving because you've managed to bring tears to my eyes, though not in a bad way, don't worry. All the best, Gracy

"My soul is painted like the wings of butterflies; fairy tales of yesterday will grow but never die, I can fly, my friends.” – Freddie Mercury

So grateful for your visit! I am actually very well - sometimes "things" just trigger certain emotions, as I'm sure you know. I hope your weather is pleasant. Cold here today, but we've been fortunate with a mild winter so far. Hoping your Muse is feeling a bit refreshed!
Thanks so much, Gracy!

author comment

Hi L, it's always a pleasure to return here. Yes, I understand about the "triggering" of emotions. Yes, our Summer is lovely, slightly on the fresh side. Today 20°C. Glad your Winter is mild.
My Muse seems to have taken a holiday since I had my fall about a month or so ago. The good news is that I'm much better. I have a physiotherapist who comes to my home and she's getting me back "on my feet"
I certainly hope to get inspired again. Some days I don't know what to do with myself, so that should get me going. But lots of people are feeling low in lockdown for so long. How are you faring? With all the bad news on TV, I try not to watch it any more.
Keep safe, hugs, Gracy

"My soul is painted like the wings of butterflies; fairy tales of yesterday will grow but never die, I can fly, my friends.” – Freddie Mercury

Glad to hear you are feeling a little better, though. I'm with you regarding the news - too intense. Who would have ever thought we would be dealing with so many unfathomable issues all at once? It's helpful to read and write poetry, walk, and keep in touch with family and friends in the safest way possible. Not much into Zoom, etc., but I'm always up for a long walks outdoors if the weather allows. Best wishes healing, and I hope all remains well with you, Gracy.
Thank you!

author comment

wish to contemplate the loss of my wife, but I can see how such a thing might affect a person. When my wife was in the hospital, I didn't feel like eating, and I came into the living room expecting to see her sitting there in her seat and pictured her in her bedroom, sleeping at night. [She recovered quickly and was home in a few days] but, I felt it keenly while she was gone. You have written of something that is felt by many, but can't be shared unless it is another person close to them. This poem is as close as you can get, without being there. ~ Geez.

It seems that the days and hours that people
are available for chatroom are staggered and
not a good match for most everyone. How about
if everyone just shows up at the door, whenever
they have a few free minutes?

I'm certainly glad your wife recovered quickly. It's true - our daily habits are shuffled and lost. It's not simple to figure out a new lifestyle, but it's necessary. Not sure what triggered this poem, it's been many, many years, but there it is. Thank you for reading and sharing your sincere thoughts. Appreciated!

author comment

This is actually bittersweet. You've set the mood perfectly in the opening lines. I wish this wasn't personal but what could we say, this is life and yet it goes on.
I loved each detail you cared to mention for us for they gave us an HD scene and how things used to go there
Take care and be well dear.
Thanks for sharing this poetic beauty.


Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words
........Robert Frost☺

Follow me

You are correct - life does go on, in many different directions. Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts. You are always so generous!
Take good care,

author comment
(c) No copyright is claimed by Neopoet to original member content.