At my best, twelve sit with me,
family feasting on penne pasta, gnocchi,
sizzling italian sausage, vinegar & oil salad,
warm garlic bread is the last to take its place.
I don't mind the Parmesan cheese or
spills of red wine covering me,
banter and laughter flowing around
me in spontaneous inspiration.
I bear it, unmoved, with
legs like pedestals and claw feet,
an island of stability.
Others rock back on two legs,
thrilled to tempt tipping,
reaching out to me for balance.
My support is steady, quiet.
They know me, even
love me in their own way,
knowing I am there, making
it all happen, taking
care to tidy me up,
when I'll be needed next -
short homework sessions,
heads huddled in hushed tones, discussing
living arrangements for Mom,
usually morning coffee and pastry crumbs,
board games in the loud.
Sometimes they need me for a late night
emergency. I got pounded
one time when the son called
to say he ran the car into a country ditch.
It wasn't personal,
I've been through it all with them,
be here for the many tomorrows.
Might lose a leaf, but
©Eusebeia Philos 2013
Written for dVerse Poets Meeting the Bar: Negative Capability as hosted by Anna Elizabeth Graham