sunday dinner

notes from maggie's farm

Sunday Dinner
by Dan Masterson

Linen napkins, spotless from the wash starched
And ironed, smelling like altar cloths. Olives
And radishes wet in cut glass, a steaming gravy bowl
Attached to its platter, an iridescent pitcher cold
With milk, the cream stirred in moments before.

The serving fork, black bones at the handle, capped
In steel, tines sharp as hatpins. Stuffed celery,
Cut in bite-sized bits, tomato juice flecked
With pepper, the vinegar cruet full to the stopper
Catching light from the chandelier.

Once-a-week corduroyed plates with yellow trim,
A huge mound of potatoes mashed and swirled.
Buttered corn, side salads topped with sliced tomatoes,
A tall stack of bread, a quarter-pound of butter
Warmed by its side. And chicken, falling off the bone:
Crisp skin baked sweet with ten-minute bastings.

Homemade pies, chocolate mints and puddings,
Coffee and graceful glasses of water, chipped ice
Clinking the rims.

Cashews in a silver scoop, the centerpiece a milkglass
Compote with caved-in sides, laced and hung
With grapes, apples, and oranges for the taking.

"Sunday Dinner" by Dan Masterson, from All Things, Seen and Unseen. © University of Arkansas Press, 1997.

What are your favorite 'Sunday Dinner' memories?


  1. Growing up Sunday was macaroni and gravy. Or some would know it as pasta and meat sauce.
    My siblings and I could smell the "gravy" from down the street as we made our way home from church. We would be starving because we had fasted in order to receive communion. As soon as we got inside, we would break off a hunk of crusty Italian bread to dip in the hot bubbly gravy. Mmm mmm.

    1. Oh I can almost taste the gravy you mention with that crusty bread. What a delicious treat to await you!
      Thank you so much for sharing your Sunday dinner with me--it's like I'm right there with you.


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