THE DINNER PARTY
1. Getting Ready
Mrs. Fraser is getting ready for dinner. A party of twelve. Very special (as always), designed to impress Mr. Fraser's colleagues and their wives.
A black velvet dress clings to her slim figure. Diamond earrings and necklace. Silver hair, coiffed in an up-do only her hairdresser can accomplish. She's almost ready.
From a dresser drawer, hidden in her silk lingerie, Mrs. Fraser takes out a silver flask and swallows long and slowly. The liquid fires up her throat and her nerve.
a lone walker–
the night blooming jasmine
cast in shadow
2. The Dinner
Crystal glasses, English china, Belgian lace. A table set for royalty. Mrs. Fraser longingly gazes out the window. A summer night cries out for a barbeque, not caviar and squab; beer not Verve Clicquot.
On her right is Mrs. Henry.
Your grandson? Precocious is he? Toilet trained in one week you say? Remarkable! Did you notify The Times? Yes, I'm joking. Of course I'm joking.
On her left is Judson Parker. She kicks his creeping foot away from hers.
Yes, I agree. Desperate hunger in the world. Should all do our part. I'll start now and pack up this dinner for the Homeless Mission downtown. What's that you say? A joke, yes. Just a joke.
bouquet of roses
fall with a touch
3. Saying Good-bye
Goodnight. Goodnight. Thank you. Lovely to see you. Next week at the Henderson's? Can't wait to see their infinity pool. A restful view, I'm sure. Perhaps, I'll jump in and disappear into infinity. Yes. Yes. Another joke.
rumbles of thunder
before the deluge
4. Lights Out
Midnight. The house locked down. One more successful dinner. One more gold star.
Mrs. Fraser takes out the flask again and places a bottle of pills next to it. She lines up the pills on her dresser. With slow deliberation her hand moves from pill to mouth to flask, from pill to mouth to flask, from pill to mouth to flask.
an owl's call
thrown to the wind
Modern Haiku, Oct. 2016