We're delighted to present our Poem Of The Day, presented in association with Poetry Ireland.
Today's poem is The women who dine alone, dine alone by Supriya Kaur Dhaliwal - read it below.
The women who dine alone, dine alone
On my way to a diner on Dame St., I see sixteen-year olds,
singing Barbie anthem on cobbled paths of Temple Bar,
beer cans in their hands. It was like seeing people seeing films
in which they wished to be cast as leading actors.
On getting to the diner, I sit with my dinner
in the first-floor seating area, watch a woman
blow-drying another woman's hair
inside a third-storey Georgian window, on other side.
I finish my food quickly, sit there gathering bits
for the film I should be writing,
my actor, an Irishman who wants to get through
the length and breadth of India on trains, only.
His bed on which he sleeps in Dublin
comes from Ikea and is Made in China.
When he watched Titanic at the Odeon in 1997,
he yelled to himself, "For f**k’s sake, SINK!"
My actress has travelled to fourteen countries
to photograph women who dine alone.
She wants to beat the single-female diner syndrome,
dining alone, for her, not a tour de force.
She dines alone too, in her country, in fourteen countries,
not having to come home to cats or dogs.
The women who dine alone, dine alone.
They just do.
On my way home, I’m told by a friend
there is something very English about the way
I hold my cigarette between my fingers.
I nod but the words get to my blood and bile.
In my dream, his ghost whispers with a lilt of
Americanness in my ear, correcting my accent.
The following day, I go out wearing the sweet scent
of cigarette ashes on my sweater.
Table for one, please.
Previously published in The Bombay Literary Magazine
About The Poet: Supriya Kaur Dhaliwal is a poet and writer from the Himalayan town of Palampur, currently based out of Belfast. She is the author of two poetry books, The Myriad and Musings of Miss Yellow. She holds an M.Phil. in Irish Writing from Trinity College Dublin. She has contributed to the Beckett Digital Manuscript Project in Antwerp, Belgium, and is currently studying Poetry at the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry, Queen's University Belfast.