Let’s invite them over for dinner, my guy says to me
Nodding at new neighbors we’d met only shortly
I hem I haw, what if they’re boring or worse talk nonstop
What if they hate spinach and despise chocolate?
My guy smiles and rings them up, barbecue Sunday at six?
They accept, so grinning a chocolate cake I fix.
He’s in charge of grilling chicken, an easy meat for all
But what if they’re vegans, should we eat at the mall?
Promptly the doorbell rings, my large cheese platter is ready
The wine is popped, the talk is fun, light and easy.
The grill is ready; my guy runs out in the frigid air
Meat marinated; he’s presented a cook’s care.
Conversation turns to their grandkids, my eyes glaze over
Leave to steam veggies, hoping we’ll all stay sober
Twenty minutes later the cheese is gone, the table set
My guy: “I’ll just turn the meat, almost done I bet.”
My rice plumbed, the asparagus ready, candles are lit
The guests pour more wine, then at the table they sit
My guy races inside to us with pink uncooked chicken
“Oh no!” he says,” the gas ran out.” His blue eyes spin.
But the new neighbors chuckle and say “we’re not hungry yet”
The chicken goes in the oven at three fifty
We open another bottle and discuss politics
And aging, travel, faith, even basketball picks.
Stomachs begin to grumble so I check the baking time
I reheat the vegetables and pour more wine
With potholders pull out the baked chicken that still looks pink
Oh. Damn. It seems that the oven has a slight kink.
I realize I’d preheated the oven before 8
But never hit “ON” button; now past 9 – too late.
So we sit under candlelight with silverware and a plate
Filled with veggies and rice – we can no longer wait.