Should we throw it away?
Your fingers rub at a stain by your plate.
Not a stain. It's a hole,
and I could mend it, but won't.
When the light shines through it, you notice
the thinness, and soon, here and here, more holes.
And see how the blue lines are worn
by the pull of connection
from my side of the table to yours,
by paths of conversation,
of passing gravy, salt.
How many years have we stood
pegging it out,
watching its white,
its snap, salute blue
kick high, swing, kick,
touch toes with the blue-white of sky?
This is the one that still drapes
fresh air across our table,
that smiles a picnic invitation
of lettuce from the garden,
apple from the tree.
Of course we should throw it away,
but on the days when it’s just me and you,
we bring it out again and laugh
at how silly we are.
Thanks to Carolyn McCurdie for letting me use one of her poems for this week's Tuesday Poem.
Carolyn is a Dunedin writer who has published a novel, 'The Unquiet,' (Longacre Press, 2007). This poem is typical of Carolyn's crafted style of poetry. Her poetry quietly, assuredly, draws you into the story it is telling with an alluring lyricism.
It was hard to choose which poem of Carolyn's to use - she has written so many fine poems. In the end I chose this one because it is a favourite of mine and effortlessly demonstrates the attractive musicality and patience that all of Carolyn's poetry harbours.
I love the way this poem seamlessly relates an ordinary episode in a way that at the same time alerts the reader to the deeper issues of life - in this case, relationship, age, time and constancy.
It reminds us of what is most important in life; the relationship between two people that through 'the pull of connection' has weathered knocks and has survived, and goes on surviving.
It may be considered an old-fashioned concept for the 21st century - a faded, worn, blue and white table-cloth on a table - but this is a table-cloth that has 'snap' and has been seen to 'touch toes with a blue-white sky' as it flies in the face of a more modern, designer-label world. As such, it epitomises the essence of sustainability.' Kay McKenzie Cooke
This week's editor is Kay McKenzie Cooke a Dunedin writer who has had two books of poetry published; 'Feeding the Dogs' (Otago Univ. Press, 2002) and 'Made For Weather' (Otago Univ. Press, 2007). Visit her Tuesday poem 'some time' and others by the Tuesday Poets (look in the sidebar on the right for links).