In the Middle of Dinner

By Chris Abani b. 1967 Chris Abani
my mother put down her knife and fork,
pulled her wedding ring from its groove,
placing it contemplatively on her middle
finger. So natural was the move,
so tender, I almost didn’t notice.
Five years, she said, five years, once a week,
I wrote a letter to your father. And waited
until time was like ash on my tongue.
Not one letter back, not a single note.
She sighed, smiling, the weight gone. This
prime rib is really tender, isn’t it? she asked.

Chris Abani, “In the Middle of Dinner” from Dog Woman. Copyright © 2004 by Chris Abani. Reprinted by permission of Red Hen Press.

Source: Dog Woman (Red Hen Press, 2004)


Discover this poem’s context and related poetry, articles, and media.

Poet Chris Abani b. 1967


Subjects Living, Separation & Divorce, Relationships, Men & Women, Home Life, Family & Ancestors