Not Over Dinner,

I say after he’s suggested we watch YouTube or listen to his favourite music as we eat but then he wants to know what we’ll do instead and I say let’s talk but he looks confused so we eat in silence the chicken the rice the cucumber raita then sip our water because I added two heaped teaspoons of curry paste to the Thai chicken where really one would have been enough so afterwards he lies on the couch and I stand at the kitchen sink all aproned and pink-rubber-gloved looking at the back of the couch his head at one end feet dangling over the other holding his cellphone and I know this because even though I can't see it I can hear the boom thwack splatter then he comes over and says he’ll help and all I can think of is Beethoven or Fauré perhaps Mozart a gentle Kyrie or Pie Jesu but now he’s talking to me saying there’s a trailer out for the new Dragon Ball Super Movie you need to see this me and my mate are flying up to Auckland in January when it arrives so I stand there hands in soapy suds watch the action

author photo of Marjory Woodfield

Marjory Woodfield is a Cantabrian who has also lived in Asia and the Middle East. Her poems have appeared in literary journals, including takahē, Landfall, The Pomegranate London, Orbis, Atrium, and in anthologies such as Pale Fire (Frogmore Press, 2019), Best Small Fictions (Sonder Press), and Fuego (The World Congress of Poets Literary Journal).  

Marjory was awarded the Robert Burns Poetry Prize (2019), The New Zealand Society of Authors Heritage Poetry Prize (2022), and came second in the Patricia Eschen Prize for Poetry (2022). Her poems have been placed and listed in such as the Hippocrates Poetry Prize, Yeovil Literary Prize, Kipling Society John McGivering Writing Prize, Alpine Fellowship, Monica Taylor Poetry Prize, Aurora Prize, and the Brotherton Writing Competition. She has work pending publication with erbacce (Spring 2024 Issue).  

Marjory comments: 'This prose poem captures a moment in time. Missed communication cues and generational differences resulted in this wryly humorous encounter.'


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Photographer credit: Andrew Woodfield