Table Inhabitants

Salt, pepper, and sugar shakersA green, metallic ashtray,
its belly scattered with old cigarette butts
and torn packages of Sugar Twin.
A crumpled napkin, two quarters,
two pennies, side by side,
looking rather grim.

A set of scratched and worn keys with
a funny bear and a Triple A charm
laying at an odd angle.

One vanilla cookie and the remains of
another looking like a skeleton,
pieces of it crumbled, describing a
horrible death from the center of the dish.
The dish with tiny, rust-colored flowers on the rim,
the edge chipped from a previous user.

Two shakers. One, salt to the bottom.
One, pepper, to the top.
And a large jar of sugar contains an eerie
creature who peers out at me from
its compressed grave of granules.

I lift my coffee to drink of its depths.
I bend my head to stare at the empty page
that is no longer blank but crowded with
table inhabitants
in blue scribbled ink.

Copyright © 2002 Carrie Ryman • All rights reserved.