The pearled onions piping
Hot, pink shrimp on the delicate china plate
And grandpa’s clam dip piled on my salty ripple chips.
No more, no more
Kisses for Great Auntie Ethel in her high backed chair, grandma Betty
Serving up the tender dark meat to herself then
Giving the plate of delicate morsels to the next eager hand at the big table.
I sit with my brother and cousins at the little table in the living room
Very quietly wondering when
I will get to sit with the grown ups becasue I’m already
Nine and older than all the other kids. I must
Go get more shrimp before they are all gone.
Music from the Victrola streams out. Grandpa Dick put on a polka record!
Everyone laughs as I dance with daddy
My feet on top his feet
Out on the porch the smoking adults share
Ribald jokes late into the evening, too coarse for my tender