Meal Time

          I went to set the table
          Two plates, knives, forks and spoons
          For me and my new husband
          And our first meal after the honeymoon.

          I went to set the table
          Three plates, knives, forks and spoons
          For baby's graduated from the high chair
          To sit with us.

          I went to set the table
          Seven plates, knives, forks and spoons
          For now our family has grown
          Two girls, three boys and we two.

          I went to set the table
          Six plates, knives, forks and spoons
          The oldest's off to college
          I came so near to setting seven still.

          I went to set the table
          Five plates, knives, forks and spoons
          Another one has left the nest
          And now they're only three children.

          I went to set the table
          Three plates, knives, forks and spoons
          Two boys have joined the navy
          To travel off to foreign shores
          And leave us home bound.

          I went to set the table
          Two plates, knives, forks and spoons
          And in my mind repeating
          The notes of Pomp and Circumstance,
          The graduation march of our youngest.

          I went to set the table
          Not two, but one plate, knife, fork and spoon
          and scarcely worth the effort
          To cook a meal at all
          For one so lonely and bereft.

Janice Weeks, Chamberlin, Hankins, Rogers