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At Her Grandmother’s Table

University of Warwick graduate Maria Taylor performs 'At Her Grandmother's Table'
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Poet Maria Taylor attended the University of Warwick in the late 1990s. "I had a great time and met my now husband there at the Valentine’s Day Disco at the Student Union, back in ’97."

The table featured in the poem was Maria's grandmother’s dowry gift in the 1930s.

At Her Grandmother's Table

Maria Taylor

Melanchrini, do you remember the coral morning
when the pigeons gathered in the yard,
soft winged and purling the air with sound?

It was so early when you joined them at the table,
your grandmother spooning out coffee
placing the mbriki on the stove. Your grandfather sat
hushed and stormless, his eyes filled with wings,
peristeria fluttering. The sun waited a little before rising.

A cockerel crowed daybreak and years went by,
now resting your full-grown elbows on the table
you wonder why it survives to feed you still.

A constant narcoleptic, a dead guest who slept
as in a fairy tale through other people’s lives.
Does this table remember the coffee drinkers
who sat by its side singing to a grandchild,
as they reached the grains at the base of their cups?

Melanchrini: dark featured girl; Mbriki: coffee pot used for making Greek/Turkish Coffee; Peristeria: pigeons


Maria Taylor is a poet, lecturer and reviewer living in Leicestershire. She was born to Greek Cypriot parents and was born in Worksop then later raised in London. Her debut book of poems is Melanchrini, (Nine Arches Press) which was shortlisted for the Michael Murphy Memorial Prize. Her poems have appeared in a variety of publications, including The Rialto, Magma, Stand and forthcoming in Ambit.