I hadn’t thought about this free verse poem in a while. Before the pandemic, one of my favorite places to write was a restaurant booth or in a coffeehouse somewhere- surrounded by lives being lived and the hustle of the day. The electric air thick with poetry.
Please, come back.
The Musings of a Future Yelper:
They’ve never been able to
maintain a restaurant at this location,
and many have tried.
It’s not a bad spot, either.
Downtown, right on the avenue,
the best bars within walking distance.
I’ve sampled every establishment
that attempts to put roots down here.
They’ve all been decent enough.
For whatever reason,
the people won’t come.
Sushi, Burgers, Piano Bar, it makes no difference.
I’ve sampled cuisine
from four different countries
and sat in the same shitty booth each time.
Outside, the rain falls steadily.
It’ll be this way for the next several days, and I’m sad
my daughter might not get her last train ride of the season.
Three men enter the restaurant
and sit directly
in my line of sight.
Above me, a TV plays sports highlights
and when they watch, it feels like
Maybe they are?
I’ve reached that elusive point in life
where it makes no difference.
The burger and fries
are too salty—
what a shame.
My waitress asks how everything tastes,
and I lie to make her feel better.
She smiles her crooked smile and fixes her peroxide-blonde hair.
I ask for my ticket
and she’s out of sight again.
I begin to review my latest poem.
I’m writing about food a lot lately.
I’ll be yelping before
you know it.
Outside, the rain pours on,
gathering into puddles
and flowing down the drain.
Like all the wasted minutes
in a life.