The restaurant is full, the eating tidy.
Heaped salads lodged within the rims of pristine plates,
their crenellated leaves curving over croutons,
sliced pimiento, cucumber, peppery cress.
Wine catches lights in slim-stalk glasses.
Chatter swathes the air in cheerfulness.
I have ordered excitable spaghetti.
“Try fork in other hand” my daughter says.
“Twist it in the spoon - see how its folding!”
But it doesn’t! Bright spaghetti flips across my face.
Red with bolognaise I mop my chin with sticky thumb
and feel all eyes upon my matching blush.
Strangled by spaghetti, a social dissident
while daughter dispatches calamari with aplomb.
Eyes down I try some tidy eating. Indeed I really try!
But next time I dine out I think that I shall choose -
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