They sat together at a table set for nine
Just him and her, then seven empty seats
To wait for guests who failed to show
Even when the clocks struck twelve
Chimes to shatter moonlight with their blows.
“Should we not wait for them to come?
His question stretched through the room
And crossed their silence sat between
Their two chairs at opposite ends
So her face and features remained unseen.
“But they are here can you not see?”
She asked with faint amusement
As his eyes searched the empty space
And found only what had been
Leaving him to wonder what was meant.
“No one sits here but for us my dear
Apart from dust there is just air
No guests, or friends, or secret love
How can you see what is not?
You play at jokes which are not fair!”
“No jokes are played upon you my love,
I tell you only hidden truths.
Those chairs are taken by myself
My greatest flaws are sat here tonight
And in my silken words lie the proof.
At your left sit gluttony my enemy
Who I fought with many times
And sometimes sought to trade for famine
But pain lies in either one
A balance is more suitable I find.
And on your right, my sweetest foe
Dear vanity with mirrors stitched
Into the palms of each her hand
So never to miss my beauty’s grace
And my confidence to enrich.
Then of course the slouching sloth
Whose grip I shook the first
When mother took my shoulders by
And made me stand up straight
For laziness cannot be a lady’s curse.
Greed and Envy fell hand in hand
Yet claw at the trap they claimed
For though I stepped from their paws
Their slips like shadows creep
And I must beware their reign.
Wrath is one you should observe with care
And mind to avoid at all cost
For though I love you in this night
The coin can flip if it is tossed
And wrath shall comfort for what is lost.”
Her silence returned to the room
And left only candles to dispel the dark
As he sat between her resting sins
And sought to see them all, yet:
“You have yet to tell the final part”
Her sigh was soft and swept the room
“I’m afraid that seat will be left unused
The occupant had no need to sit
Why should lust walk abroad tonight?
Of being an enemy it was not accused.