Blog Archives


Emily Strauss

Mother and I ate dinner at a stranger’s house
Warm from a wood stove, he doesn’t permit shoes
She insisted strongly though everyone wore them
Except us, mother changing into her slippers at the door.

He poured us wine though mother had explained
In certain tones that he couldn’t drink anymore.
He cooked dinner himself: turkey, ham, frozen
Vegetables, exotic mushrooms, tomato aspic

We all ate dinner in the choir loft overlooking the valley
And town, with three antique organs in the living room
Below, their huge pipes hidden behind a wooden screen.
He’s quite a character, mother insisted, but he was polite

And affable, pouring virgin champagne before he served
Two different cakes, hand decorated. I sat silently throughout
The meal, my feet frozen in thin socks and then our host went
Downstairs to play wedding processionals badly in his special

Organ shoes with the thick heels, four guests sat politely
Listening until finally we stepped out into slicing cold air
And drove home silently admiring the hideous displays
Of landscape lighting in the redneck district and finally

Mother had the nerve to ask if I had a nice day.
I thought of my new redwood chest and said yes.

©2012 This work is the property of the author.

%d bloggers like this: