George Lober

Dinner Alone

Six months after my mother died,
my father stopped having dinner 
with his children, preferring instead
the blank strip of kitchen wall 
between the cabinet and the doorway 
leading to the yard out back. 
Without explanation, he’d sit 
each night on a wooden chair 
beneath the wall phone, eating
from a plate balanced on his lap
or perched at the counter’s edge, 
eyes focused on the four of us
at the dining table ten feet away, 
always with the expression of a man
trapped between duty and loss,
seeing clearly the span of our ages,
calculating our respective weights.

George Lober

Books by George Lober