No one speaks at the dinner table tonight.
Tension amplifies; blade-like, exacto-knife precise, biting at our souls
Reminding us that some never truly know where bloom and lilac laughter go.
Grandfather’s hands shake and flutter, drinking daydreams in aniseed liquor
As he speaks wise words broken to shape his thoughts.
A table of mahogany with a walnut bottom sits between us
Scratches from the nails of men following great causes scar
its corners that hold the bloody scarlet from my brother’s scraped knees.
Every saffron-golden grain of rice sits still in the linings of my throat
Choking all free lyrics and reckless laughter from fleeing away
As yellow seeping oil drips eerily from the luminescent veneer
of roasted chicken which shines against the dimming kerosene lights.
Grandmother doesn’t question my inability to swallow.
She is a woman whose resilient ribs had the power of the hills
And who once spoke of romance and illustrious ventures.
Police sirens softly shriek and blare; “we all have a heartache,”
As burgundy and cerulean lights hover on our linoleum floors.
Sounds of slender silver against frosted alabaster china cut through silence;
One note for every longing for words to warp themselves around us;
The blush giggles and devious gossip and wholesome grins, so glorious-
Stability groaned in our gut.
Father slowly locks every door and window- meticulously precautious.
He is a maker of guitars with strings that serenade the pulsations of untamed places
And banjos that thrum tones resounding with the humble ruins of nations.
The locked windows bare the sight of our neighbors being cuffed in steel,
Escorted by iron-clad armies to places where none hear the soft echoes of newsies.
The sky disintegrates into a purple haze and heat lingers between my fingers.
Mother mumbles as she slurs all sense of meaning,
My sister grips my hand with a fierce force sinking into every delta of my fingerprints.
All moments of greatness have stemmed from this dinner table;
We drunk our despairs and dreams until dusk and made kings from dust.
We long to remember the days where we would forget the way to our father’s house,
Where we were but a note in a noisy drive and whirl.
The generations among us hum rhythms in silence
As a knock resounds from the door.
Sarah Chocron is a junior in high school at Wichita Collegiate School where she is heavily involved in the sciences and music. As a writer, she is an alum of both the Lake Forest Writing and Thinking Workshop and the SCAD Summer Seminar in Media Writing for which she credits much of her growth as a poet. Sarah is also the Editor-in-Chief of her school’s literary magazine, Hemispheres, which is a multimedia compilation of the creative student talent at Collegiate. Outside of school, she loves to play jazz piano, laugh endlessly with her friends, and read the works of great writers that continually inspire her to keep writing.