There’s a table when they make room
beside where a family’s gathered
for a birthday: it’s late-season
and there’s hardly anywhere open.
Conversations lose their way
between the generations
until children skip from chair
to chair, deflecting our attention.
Now that the taped music’s cut,
a couple are tuning their guitars
while below us in the stairwell
they’re lighting a single candle.
There was hardly anywhere open
but generations that had lost their way
deflected our attention, tuning up
for conversations on a birthday.
And now that they’ve made room,there’s a table where we’ve gathered.
Image: Marina Shiderova; text: Tom Phillips