Ode to an Empty Seat
A party of seven gets
Seated at a table for eight.
An open seat on the end where
The air eats extra napkins, dirty
Plates, and cups of melting ice
And bitten straws.
The seat sits the purses of two ladies,
One giving gooey eyes to the eldest
Man, the other sighing wistfully at
Her phone. The latter's leg wraps not around
Her chair's leg, but the empty chair's leg.
A vacation of seven takes two cars, packed
To the brim with clothes and paper towels
and beach shit and shampoo. We can't fit another person inside.
We can barely
Fit my legs, and I'm short. It's
For the best that there's no more than seven.
Despite what the brokenly wistful girl thinks.
Two lovers holding hands while seven walk to get pizza, two pairs of brothers walk two-by-two,
And the broken lonely girl makes up the caboose. She clutches her phone,
Which is too hard and too cold for her hand.
She thinks of poetry.
Two - technically three - more beds fit inside
The condo than the seven vacationers
Need. A daybed turns two twin beds into a queen. One person sleeps in the queen and misses her princess.
But it would be too expensive, you know,
If an eighth person came along. The eight
Couldn't pack everything in two cars -- a
Third would have to be taken. And
That would mess up everything.
But the queen-sized bed wouldn't be as empty,
And the lonely girl could start
Introducing family to her princess. And
Money would be tight, but it would work.
And the empty chair would be filled, and
Laughter would be drowning out everything
Else -- the cackling, obnoxious laughter of
Two girls. Two happy girls.
But the chair is empty,
The bed sleeps one,
And a girl writes poetry about it.