Words are Gifts

The Table

Long and narrow

Strewn with the most delicate natural looking artificial flowers

Planted in wooden window boxes that matched the table, perfectly

Lined in the middle of the long fourteen-seater table

We sat facing each other, like we did in our boarding school dining hall

This seemed rather strange but welcoming

We could sit anywhere we chose to

The places were set with intricate heavy designed metal cutlery

Many glasses for me? Wine glass, water tumbler and another

This was like a scene in a movie

The cool music blurted out around us

As we were seated on the verandah

There was a fresh wispy breeze waiting on us

Waiting, there were also two uniformed, assigned waiters,

knowledgeable waiters on call

They knew exactly what we needed at any particular time,

experience I thought


Confused I did not know what was happening

I smelt no food or had no idea what was going to be served

To my delight a sea food salad starter was presented

On the most beautiful platter

Just enough to tease us

Then the hostess of the table appeared

“Jollof rice or mashed potato with an ox tail something,” she asked?

I am sure she used “A la Carte” names

But that is what I deduced

As a Ghanaian, Jollof rice is a staple food so

For me Mash with Ox tail it was

The most succulent main course, went down quickly

Of course I had to be ladylike and comport myself

But this meal… so refined but ravishing

We had time to chat between each serving

The next delivery was just special

Called a palate cleanser served in a hard coconut shell

With the hard coconut still intact

A slightly natural ‘slushy’, as my daughter would call it

A pure taste of lime, ginger, a little lemon grass – cold

It had a teaspoon in it and was just enough to do

The job it was sent to do


The interlude was given for us to laugh

Friends now, the drinks made the voices louder than before

Everybody full, we laughed and laughed

The dessert was served, interesting looking

Dotted around the plate like a joke

Different tastes, different calories

Just enough, I guess, we had already been filled

I tasted, a drop of creamy chocolate

A wispy sponge cake, a tiny bouquet of berries, different but

Welcome tastes, there was more, more pinches of food

In my more relaxed setting, I would have

Taken a photograph of all the parts of the delivery

If was exquisite, respectful, tasty and classy

Relaxed and reminiscing about who we are

We asked our waiting waiters on call to crack

the coconuts open, in the pantry, of course

We munched and chewed the sweet, rough coconut

At that point, all finesse was thrown out

It all ended with a sharing of tea or coffee

The aroma of coffee was enough to end the evening

The Table gave me a rare experience

Thank you to our host, the ‘hostess of the table’

and the waiters on call, my acquired companions

I forgot the hidden chef, Thank you


I decided to write this free verse slice when I started off with a list of my dinner experience but chose to write a poem. Could this be because writing a narrative, would have caused me to share contents of the conversations and a lot more about the occasion?

How else would you have shared this experience?


















10 responses to “The Table”

  1. Through your words, I could really feel like I was also sitting at the table (or at least closeby) and enjoying old friends sharing a meal and fellowship. Your use of free verse was a delightful way to write about the details.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This was almost a shape poem, mimicking the length of the table. The details had us eating alongside you, just as bemused by the presentation and delighted by the flavors.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Interesting, I never thought about connecting the length of the poem to that of the table. Thank you

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Your format works for me, though I am sure you could write about this memorable meal again in a different way, and I’d read that too!
    I love how you share with us the local foods turned haute cuisine. I loved the progression of courses. I really love at the end where you ask the waiting waiters to crack the coconuts and all finesse leaves the table as everyone munches the meat! You convey both your awe (all the glasses, heavy cutlery) and also your fun and appreciation of this special meal.
    Finally, you remember to thank the “hidden chef”- so true!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I am digging these multiple styles of writing you’re trying out! The length and shape of it had me wanting the next few lines. I think leaving out conversation was just fine. It allowed our imaginations to do the rest and immerse ourselves in the experience with you.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I love the feeling I get from your first verse – the long table set outside on the verandah with the fresh wispy breeze. The outdoor setting juxtaposed with the formal table (all those glasses, the uniformed waiters) intrigued me. I would have liked for you to come back to that – the setting – at the end, perhaps.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your comment. I am thinking what I could have written about the setting at the end. It was a lovely evening so I could easily do that.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. J, so glad you didn’t take photos, I doubt they would have matched up to your thorough description. Loved this, it kept me hooked up to the end!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Beautiful description of this special dinner. The flow and pacing seemed to match the evening itself. Thanks for inviting us to the table with you. Poetry is a perfect genre for such a sensory experience. The conversations that filled the space between plates is for another piece of writing.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. The leaness of poetry suits the subject and setting. The words are lean like the table. As the shift happens with the guest, you reflect that through the interaction with the food. Beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

About Me

I am am Elementary school teacher at an International IB School in Accra, Ghana, West Africa. I write with groups of writers, such as Teach Write.


%d bloggers like this: