(This is another poem from Neil’s new book Jigsaw. I have been in that chair a few times.)
you enter a room with the same large table
centred with a tray of glasses and pitcher of ice water
you nod at the faces but being familiar with the routine
it’s those glasses and pitcher that hold your attention
how many contenders have come and gone?
the significance around the merry-go-round questions
trying to please while measuring how much water’s been drained
and how much is needed to keep the conversation going?
are they fresh as the morning sharing their humour?
how dry are their throats? is their enthusiasm waning?
you wonder are they holding their thumbs up like painters?
are they trying to imagine how you’d fit in?
or have they made up their minds before you got here?
will this conversation require lubrication?
are they reaching for the pitcher?