Everything perfectly proper
down to the clipped flight feathers
of the childís migrating elbows
at the dinner table, hands folded
in his lap. But it canít properly be said
the family sits around the dinner table
anymore, thinks the child
sitting in geometry class. Once
it was possible for the isosceles triangle
with two big sides and one small sideóthe one
of his mother and father and himó
to plot itself on a circle and to say
it was sitting around a dinner table, at dinnertime.
Even in geometry that was possible. But now
itís just his mother and him. Two points. A line.
And it just isnít possible to say itís a family.
And it just isnít accurate to say they sit around
the dinner table anymore. They sit across.
And his motherís line of sight is a ray. It goes out
and doesnít meet his. And the only triangles now
are her elbows when she cries, her face in her hands.