This sticky farm oilcloth hosts jams and pickles, scatterings of dill seeds a utensil bouquet in the pottery jug— There are so many scattered scraps crap and clutter, as mom would say, on our harvest table there is really no room to eat. But this Christmas, grief fills us, gluttonous— some of the time, its grounds left soggy in our cups, its wine rings staining the tablecloth, its lamb-fat marbled and congealing in the cold. Other times, it swells in our bellies with cinnamon bun memories still sticky-warm— here she perched with the birds, here she laughed at the larks, here she asked us to listen better, nodding solemnly like the glass bird dipping in water. Sometimes grief makes us too full to eat, yet always hungry for something no more room for at the table.
Kate Marshall Flaherty
(provided in 2022) Kate Marshall Flaherty latest book is Digging (Aeolus House, 2022), and she has poems published in numerous Canadian and international journals, such as CV2, Vallum, Grain, Room, Trinity Review, The Literary Review of Canada and American Academy of Poets. She writes spontaneous “Poems Of the Extraordinary Moment” (P.O.E.M.s) for charity in person and online, and guides StillPoint Writing and Poetry Editing Circles online. See her performance poetry online at: katemarshallflaherty.ca.