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Viterbo University > TOUCHSTONE Magazine > Issue 67 > Literature > The Busboy Talks to the Forks

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The Busboy Talks to the Forks

By Andrew Moore

How does a man clean tables all his life?

Why does He-Who-Cleans-Tables-All-His-Life
personify the elements of the table?

The Forks--hey man.
The Knives--what's up?
Those Spoons--yo!
Plates--lookin' kinda flat tonight
Wrappers from Straws--foosh!
Crumpled Up Napkins--they're moody.

(What is personification?
A way of giving things that are not human,
human qualities.)
Why personify the elements on the table?

It makes his duty worth the while.
It's safe.
It humanizes his lowly task-I-cannot-enjoy-your-wonderful-dinner-conversation-because-I-have-to-work.

It's joining in the only way he can.

After you've gone and finished,
did you know there's a human connection left?
And so he partakes any way he knows how,
even if that means giving the Fork a personality,
commenting on the Spoon,
telling the Napkin what He's going to do,
wondering which Straw the Pretty Girl used.