#NaPoWriMo 2021 Day 1 : “Feast Days”

Feast Days

Table for seven
for me & my dead friends.
Keep a few chairs empty
for the forgotten. Remember
the empty whenever
a plate is too full.

It’ll take awhile
to catch everyone up
on what they’ve been missing.
Maybe they’re not missing
anything anymore. One day
you’ll see.

Everyone’s tastes have changed.
Time will do that. That look
in a familiar eye is no longer
readable. That concern line
in the middle of a forehead
is all smoothed out. Earth
was such a rocky place.

No one’s drinking anything.
We’re all beyond that point.

We decide to avoid the topic
of pain. Maybe pain needs you.
It can’t survive if no one’s around
to feel it.
I ask about secrets,
but no one can tell me anything.
They recite poems that I’ll have
to memorize, & still
I won’t possibly understand.
Not from here. Not from
this place so deep inside myself
that I can’t bear to open
the curtains & peer out.
There’s nothing out
there for me.

Some of these phantoms
are still walking around
& thinking about me.
So far away
they may as well be
in another dimension
but we’re still
circulated air. Same thing,
different day, eh?
I defend
the unhappiness in my voice
by praise for resiliency.
Inside I’m telling my heart
it’s okay to want to trade places
with them. They smile
so big now.

It might be time
to wake up & when I do
it’ll be minutes before
the alarm sounds. I’ll think
I want to call everyone
who’s still around but
I’ll be too tired to. Look around.
Take in the details. Remember.

My eyes open
& I see I’m sitting alone
at a mirrored table top.
There’s a dumb song playing,
but it’s the same one
that was fighting its way
out of crackling speakers
over the dearly departed dinner.

We’re all living chronically.
There aren’t cures
for everything. Something
will work out eventually
as long as the wheel
keeps turning. Now you’re
I’m mouthing
some words to myself.
Practicing what I’ll say,
how I’ll excuse myself,
save face, not appear
unstable, unsure.
Next time we’ll call ahead.
See if we can glimpse
the future fates & try
to stop them. It’ll be
futile, but the effort
means we still
carry some hope.

There wasn’t any dessert
because no one wanted
to promise a sweet ending.
There were arguments
over the check because
ghosts are so generous.
They give & they give
They blame. They claim
responsibility. They’re
always there when you
need them & often
when you don’t.

Still hungry. For more
time. For more
strength to eat up
moments & memories
before they devour
you too.

Published by Jennifer Patino


8 thoughts on “#NaPoWriMo 2021 Day 1 : “Feast Days”

  1. When I was young. We had big family get-togethers. They were good days. Great conversations and I miss dear Jennifer.
    “Still hungry. For more
    time. For more
    strength to eat up
    moments & memories
    before they devour
    you too.”
    I understand the above lines. I create a memory books. I wrote down what my father did for me, I wrote about my time in my grandparent house. I wrote about the kind people I knew in my life. Something to remind me. Once we were surrounded by great people. Outstanding poetry and thoughts shared.

    Liked by 1 person

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