Tea for (Too many?)


When it’s just me and himself and he starts to say something that triggers a thought, I tend to interrupt, thus becoming one too many in the conversation.

“Would you just let me finish!”

Add a couple of friends – or better, two couples – and that phrase doesn’t appear.

Six can sit comfortably around the dinner table and by carefully choosing the guests, a fine evening of conversation (encouraged by my fine food, of course) will ensue.

But once in a while when I find it difficult not to put my two cents in, I get “Would you please let ___ finish.” Nobody else seems to mind or are they just being polite?

Dinners with just the two of us are often eaten in silence, or near silence, especially in a restaurant. In a family run trattoria  in Milan once, we were the only people not talking up a storm. I wrote a poem about it afterwards. This is part of it:

The Milanese regulars have come in convivial companies

To refresh their minds while re-fleshing their bodies.

We concentrate on our food, alone in the crowded room.

Quiet Americans, we sit segregated, separated

Even from each other, eating, seldom looking up,

Speaking only to wonder at the wine,

Salute the insalate misti, so unexpectedly delicious.

Swapping the occasional delicacy, but few words.


A lone diner enters, sits down next to me. We nod:

“Buona Sera,” but with his quiet intrusion become

Almost more reserved, more alien, more alone in the crowd.

He too eats wordlessly, the only silent Italian here.

Finally, with dessert the ice is broken.

A question about Taleggio cheese – is it from goats’ milk?

The Uncle-waiter does not understand. We try sign language, but

“Non capisco,” and our neighbor comes to our rescue.

“It is from cow,” he offers diffidently,

And discreetly returns to his meal.

But we, emboldened by this linguistic lifesaver,

Thank him and now, finally, we can talk.

[I wish I knew how to put a poem in my blog without the spaces between lines. Can anyone help me?] 

Daily Post – Counting Voices  <ahref=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/counting-voices/”>Counting Voices</a>


2 thoughts on “Tea for (Too many?)

  1. Love, love, love the poem! You infused it with just enough ambiguity and mystery that I can read half a dozen things into it. Delightful work.

    To break your poem into lines instead of paragraphs, try holding down the shift key while pressing the enter key at the end of a line.

    Liked by 1 person

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