Table for One

She comes home to love Every night She sits alone at the laid-out dinner table. The clock waits on her. Eight o'clock. The aroma of rice blends with the scent of adobo and cucumber salad. Waiting to be uncovered perhaps is sinigang or pancit molo. The table gathers other feasts such as this, Monday through Saturday. Now etched upon the brow are the aches and discontents. Around her nothing changes, nothing is noticed: A dashing figure pricks her memory, taunting, Her fingertips poke at her food, testing. Mutely agreeing with the taste. Later, facing the TV, She watches or reads. The drone of a halting vehicle. She is startled. Gripped by anticipation she stands, nudging the table. Water in the glass quivers then calms slowly as silence prevails. The rice steam thins. She sits, Picking up the fork and spoon.