Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Tomorrow Repast

Tomorrow Repast 


The tablecloth lifts, white and spotless

floats down on the table she sets 

with burnt orange napkins rolled and

set in umber holders – white pottery

and clear crystal tumblers at each place

A vase of autumnal leaves - crisp vermillion 

mimic the three trees outside the front

window – sunlight streams through sky-

lights - Tomorrow is the day – 

of thanks – of gratitude – for all the 

tragedies that have not befallen – 

for the privilege unknown to others –

for all that has not been taken – as others

have lost forever more – she strains to

fill her inner cup with the gratitude of what

she has not had to endure – and yet –and yet -

A random melancholy thought falls over 

her as she surveys the gleaming floor –

inhales the good smells that the cleaners

have left – Yes, tomorrow is the day – the 

table is nearly set – yet, that thought floats

through again – perhaps – she muses she shall 

Place photographs of all once there – place them

Here, where they sat at each empty chair –

Remember the clink of glasses the passing of 

food-  the round about the table thanks given

The laughter, the love, the talk, oh the talk, 

tumbling like a water-fall into a clear stream  

Yes, perhaps she shall place a photograph at each 

empty chair and fill the space with something

beyond misty memory – as they sit down  

She and husband  

passing sweet potatoes, and tradition - 

smiling through the succulent sorrow of 


Gratitude must shine

for this

not small

wonder of

love and


for what is-

in mystic memory

of all that is not.  


  1. I really felt this poem, Pearl. I can see the table, the wonderful colours, the leaves.......and then the meaningful idea of placing a photo at each empty chair for those no longer there. So moving. I, too, balance my gratitude with the knowledge of what so many millions of other humans and non-humans are suffering in the world on any given day. So well said.

    1. Thank you Sherry - such a wonderful response and yes, such a torn time in so many ways - personal and global. I am grateful for this prompt today! Happy Thanksgiving as a wise friend of mine says "in spite" of ... or perhaps because of!

  2. Oh, yes, I think holidays bring so many memories, especially of holiday meals with so many more present than today. And yes, remembering the clink of glasses and the passing of food! Gratitude for "all the tragedies not befallen" - yes. And " passing sweet potatoes, and tradition -
    smiling through the succulent sorrow of tomorrow. " There is comfort in these traditions...we have to carry on! Happy Thanksgiving, Pearl.

    1. Mary I love your endless positivity - it is a balm to the soul. Thank you for commenting here!

  3. Filling one's cup with gratitude, yes, but "for what she has not had to endure" is deep, Pearl Girl. It is easy to get sucked into the chaos and miss moments of gratitude, moments of grace. I do believe we are lucky to have the gift of words, of memory. This is lovely writing.

    1. Ahh Amer .. I have found myself sucked into a dark hole whirling with chaos...Working hard to not miss those moments of grace and extraordinarily grateful for the gift of words to bring some order to a burning mind and soul. Thank you for the kind words and so wonderful to see you again!

  4. gratitude – for all the / tragedies that have not befallen – You're absolutely right about that privilege and we need to acknowledge that- on thanksgiving and every day... you've captured the mood perfectly in the poem.

  5. Sherry speaks my mind! And this "gratitude – for all the / tragedies that have not befallen" took my breath away. To pause there is essential, as essential as acknowledging the "not small
    wonder of
    love and
    largesse . . . ." Happy Thanksgiving, dear poet! Thank you for all of your images.

  6. Pearl.
    A look into the life that may once have seemed like perfection. Untouched by the troubles from other places; sheltered in that sense of unblemished luxury.
    Yet, for most, sad times and loss does eventually paint the scene so well, by replacing place settings, with photographs...For me too, it's the absence of loved ones at certain times, that cannot be replaced..simply resorting to remembering and memories..
    Happy Thanksgiving...

  7. I am sorry, I hit publish before I commented. I loved your poem, I was right there, and each word seemed like my own. My Grandmothers, My Parents, My Sisters, friends and family, they all returned with your words. Thank you. annell