Swallow

Fastidious noises, thoughtless behaviours,
Far from consciousness, lack of education
Or merely of attention, while hands pick
Food plunging in serving bowls to stuff
The mouth so plenty it barely closes.

Licking fingers, displaying stained teeth,
Chewing forcefully, yearning for oxygen
Between an uttered word and a mumbled
One. Fostering boorishness masquerading
As liberty, as if politeness is currently outdated.

Reducing the annoyed to an uptight unable
To enjoy freedom, where mannerism is a cell,
As I courteously turn the other way and refrain
From speaking my true mind, not to offend,
As I have been brought up to be considerate,

And swallow.

[Featured painting: Pasta Eater, Allegory of Taste by Luca Giordano, ca.1660]

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