Tag Archives: Solitude

CHINESE RESTAURANT

CHINESE RESTAURANT

Sorry John Donne
but some men may be islands

or castaways
in small prairie towns
fifty miles by bad road
from any other of their race

Tall walled booths along one side
twisted-wire chairs and tables too
my father and his friends had coffee
I think mine was cream soda

We may have eaten there
but I don’t remember
certainly at five or six
I would not have imagined
that we were as strange to him
as he was to us

All I ever knew
of the inner man
was the pungent foreignness
of the old two-holer out back

Fast forward six years or so
to small town of Mossbank
on the South side of the lake

A chubby twelve year old
sits in a low walled booth
with his best buddies
and another Chinese man
in another Chinese café
serves up vanilla cokes
(when vanilla still had alcohol)
and marks our tabs with Chinese signs

I asked him what my three mean

Big – Small – Happy

JUDY

JUDY

Judy was a beauty
tall and blonde and shy
early this month she decided to die

The soft wise eyes, the curling lashes
all now ashes

We have been friends for twenty years
hugs and coffee when in town, cards when far away

And always the latest poetry

She said it was important, and it touched her
in places nothing and no one else could reach

Three years ago
I put my neck in a green eyed noose

I sent no cards, I did not call

I do not know if I could have saved her
though touch and poetry have been know to

I only know I hate what I did and didn’t do
I only know she drowned out there alone
I only know it was a long time since I had thrown her a line