Cindy’s Diner

At the next table
an old man and his wife
consume their heavy breakfast
eggs, sausage, toast, home fries.
Just behind you, husband,
four men graze their lives, sipping coffee
over the remnants of their morning meals.

There’s gossip—the boss, his arrogance, the way
he toadies up to big shots.  And this news—
“I hear he’s got a woman in the shadows.”
A stirring of their bodies—silence,
a muttered noncommittal—“these things
happen.”  Then on to spider bites
and allergies, mothers and their illnesses,
doctor visits, wives and daughters,
church picnic, a wedding.

When they stand to leave, they pull
their leather jackets over mid-life sagging
bellies, lift their motor cycle helmets
from the floor, bow their graying heads
to the waitress as they tip her,
pass the man reading the life of Buddha
at the counter, then out
the door to the motorcycles
we passed as we came in.
                                                5/30/2000

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