When times are hard

Looking glass, John Lyons (oil on wood and paper)

When times are hard

A table means
           necessary places
means presence
           and necessary absence
in times of war
           in times of peace
a table means steadiness
           a strong line in life
a surface upon which
           plates and glasses
and knives and spoons
           and silver-plated forks
look their best :
           sometimes there is jam
and sometimes cream
           and sometimes milk
and sometimes honey
           and sometimes bread
or toast in a rack
           or scones or cake
and a pot of tea
           with cups and saucers
a sugar bowl
           and yellow daffodils
in a porcelain vase
           casting their light
on the crisp white linen cloth
           and sometimes
people come together
           to commemorate a life
and to celebrate
           their love

John Lyons


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