But by the time we got here, bounties had
been laid for us to sample. We had to
make room for what we brought and made, edging
other dishes aside on the Grand Table,
sliding in more leaves, adding more chairs.
Halfway through chatter, munching, and libation,
our Host, though, disappeared, and now it’s we
who gather and wash the goblets and tankards,
put out rinsed plates, and answer the door chime
for the newcomers, party-crashers all—
plus make sure our drunk friends get home all right.
The uninvited guest turns into host,
then legacy of drinks and dishes past.
James B. Nicola has published work in
Tar River, the Texas Review, The Lyric,
Nimrod and many others. A stage director by profession,
his book Playing the Audience won a CHOICE Award.
His first chapbook of poems, “Still,” was published by Stasia Press.