Silent Lunch

Leftovers find their way
To a paper plate in the microwave;
The container finds itself
Filled with soapy water.

Peach looks good,
Though bruised.
Paring knife supplied
Leaves bruised flesh behind.

And I’m near ready to eat.
But lo! There in the sink,
Another’s bowl soaks,
Now with leftovers and peach flesh.

The choice seems simple:
Do nothing, and risk that this other
Gets her feelings distressed;
Or, wash and deliver it to her desk.

I choose the latter,
Not wanting to hurt her,
Not even in the most harmless way;
Bright and fresh and clean,
I bring the bowl her way.

But she’s not there.
I kindly place the bowl on her desk
And return, unlike a house-elf,
On my own two feet, to the lunchroom.

I hear her voice as I depart,
Turning, I see: several yards away, she saw me leave.
“No matter,” I think,
“She’ll see the bowl and know.”

Quest completed,
I’m now seated;
My mind begins
To haunt me again—

Exploring possible thought paths
She might have started down.
Racing, racing around in circles,
A frenzy stirred up inside:

Fearing her wrath,
Or a giant frown;
An injured porpoise, I see tail heterocercal
As HR pulls me aside to chide.

Oh, to have been that house-elf,
And snapped my fingers to avoid this bind.
“Silence! Let me eat in peace!”
I yell into the void in my mind.

© 2014 H.K. Longmore

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