“Dysphagia” by Jane Blanchard

At half-past seven it is time to take
our seats. Dinner is ready, and good food
should never go to waste. We try to make
light conversation to improve my mood
but find the effort awkward. You consume
the salmon, squash, and baked potato much
more quickly than I do. Throughout the room
long shadows dance in firelight as I clutch
a paper napkin, soon committed to
the trash along with remnants of our meal.
Tonight we fail to bicker over who
does not clean up. False strife has no appeal.
“The fish was really good,” you kindly note.
I still can feel a bone within my throat.

Jane Blanchard lives and writes in Georgia. Her poetry has been published around the world as well as posted online. Her first collection, Unloosed, and her second, Tides & Currents, are both available from Kelsay Books.

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