Horse Latitudes (Excerpt)
by Paul Muldoon (1951 – )
They’re kindly here, to let us linger so late,
Long after the shutters are up.
A waiter glides from the kitchen with a plate
Of stew, or some thick soup,
And settles himself at the next table but one.
We know, you and I, that it’s over,
That something or other has come between
Us, whatever we are, or were.
The waiter swabs his plate with bread
And drains what’s left of his wine,
Then rearranges, one by one,
The knife, the fork, the spoon, the napkin,
The table itself, the chair he’s simply borrowed,
And smiles, and bows to his own absence.