I place the child-sized Blue Willow tea set
on a low shelf in the dining room
because that’s what a person with grown children
When a friend calls to say she might drop in for a visit,
bring her toddler daughter with her,
I find a place out of reach to stack the tiny cups and saucers,
set out refreshments on full-sized plates,
and make grown-up coffee.
The seconds layer onto minutes,
become an hour before she arrives
without her child.
She’d found a sitter, she said, so our afternoon
can be filled with adult conversation
uttered around nibbled edges of scones.
When she’s gone,
and the house returns to its customary quiet,
I wash the dishes
but keep the China on the high shelf
in case it makes a difference,
leaving the low one bare.
Lisa Hase-Jackson earned her Master’s Degree in English from Kansas State University and a Master’s in Fine Arts from Converse College in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Her poetry has appeared in such journals as The Midwest Quarterly, Kansas City Voices, I-70 Review and The Southeast Review. Born in Portland, Oregon and raised primarily in the Midwest, Lisa is a traveler at heart and has spent her adult years living and writing in such locations as Anyang, South Korea, Albuquerque, New Mexico and Spoleto, Italy. Her current perch is Charleston, South Carolina where she facilitates classes and workshops. Lisa is the editor of Zingara Poetry Review.