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Life Arts    H4'ed 11/27/19

In the Birdseye Diner

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Songs from the 50s playing softly.
Lights in the diner warming
As the natural light outside
Darkens toward 4:30.

All 19 shiny stools are empty.
A couple at a booth
At the far end of the dining area
Are getting up to pay their bill.

The white-haired bearded man
Stands by the exit
Bobbing to the music
While his wife pays.

I can hear the cook in the back
Talking to the help.
I just paid my Medicare premium
More or less on time.

Chunk of money.
After my coffee
I am heading for the gym
In the next town

For an hour workout
On the machines,
Trying to maintain
The strength I still have.

It's a losing proposition;
Age forgives no debt.
I am wearing an old leather
Flight jacket with a

Mother's prayer embroidered
Into the lining of the back.
It's very sweet, with roses
Twining around a banner

Highlighting "MOTHER".
The blessing begins, "There's
A dear little House inviting,
In a dear little Place I know,

And a welcome
Is always waiting
When to that little house
I go." I have been thinking

Of my own mother lately.
She raised me in the 50s
When these songs were current
And she was still

Doing the jitterbug.
She taught me to honor
All life. Raised me
Not to kill a fly.

Left me with a lot of questions.
She also inadvertently
Taught me to love coffee.
She would cut my toast

Into strips called "soldiers"
Which I would dunk
In my father's cup. I
Loved the bitter taste.

It's dark out now.
The general store and gas station
Are all lit up.
Time to leave. This poem

Is going nowhere.
But I think
I'll just keep it as it is
Suspended in the Birdseye.

(Article changed on November 27, 2019 at 23:32)

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Gary Lindorff is a poet, writer, blogger and author of several nonfiction books, a collection of poetry, "Children to the Mountain" and a memoir, "Finding Myself in Time: Facing the Music" Over the last few years he has begun calling (more...)

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