27 September, 2009

La Specialité de la Maison

My daughter didn't like it
that I had questions by my plate
the time she came for dinner at my place
on one of her return visits.

I tried to explain
how, because I seldom saw her,
I wanted not to forget
to ask her this or that.

It was the list,
she said, and my referring to it,
like an interview, no
conversational give and take,

as if she were applying
for a position
as my daughter.
I saw her point but, still,

thought she failed to see
the compliment, my will
all focussed on her, her life,
my wanting to miss none of it.

But when I said I guess
I should have memorized
the questions, dropped
them in where appropriate,

I could tell that
wasn't much better
by the way she
twisted her spaghetti.

So, the next time,
I served up
the surrendering
of my control,

covered with a sauce
of trust in the moment,
her, us, myself, and she ate her fill,
saying it was good.

It's not an easy meal
for me to make - the recipe
always changing, the risk
of failure, the kitchens

everywhere. That said,
I'm thinking I could get to like it.
I had a question for you,
but I forgot what it was.

~~ Philip Dacey