“Dispute” by Cristine A. Gruber

Even the chair I am paired with feels tense,

like a friend who has just been told she must

make a decision and pick a side in the ensuing

disagreement between mutual loved ones.


The small folding table in front of me is

equally anxious, the skinny two-part legs

almost visibly shaking in anticipation

of being knocked against the distant wall.


The rug at my feet feels taut against me,

as if a trampoline lurks beneath,

ready to spring forth and throw me,

should I come too close to revealing the

impending truth of the argument to follow.


And the air in the room is conspiring as well,

rising up to grip my sandpaper throat,

loosening my tongue at the worst possible time,

and attacking my eyes, which would otherwise be dry.


Only you remain unaffected by the imminent dispute,

remaining calmly at your computer,

while your desk, screen, keyboard, and mouse,

all bristle in sympathy for the tension in the air.








Cristine A. Gruber has had work featured in “North American Review,” “Writer’s Digest,” “Writers’ Journal,” “The Endicott Review,” “The Penwood Review,” “Thema,” and “Westward Quarterly.” She has been a featured poet in Writer’s Digest for National Poetry Month. Cristine studied Literature, Philosophy, and World Religions at California Baptist University in Riverside, California. She is a member of The California State Poetry Society and The Poetry Society of America. Her first full-length collection of poetry, “Lifeline,” was released by Infinity Publishing and is available from Amazon.com. Cristine loves great pasta and fine wine, long walks, and good books. She continues to reside in Southern California and has two grown children.