Waiting at the Luncheon Counter for My Tuna Melt
this is not the way your life will turn
out as you listen to, as you overhear two old
men talk about Walter Benyen. One knew him well
the other was his nephew. He died
(didn’t he?) they ask each other,
reaching for a bit of dry toast, a sip of bitter
coffee with that same abandoned air you saw
in a man walking through North Park
holding an empty leash, and in the pages
of the hardbound book you saw fluttering
after each passing car, staying where it landed
in the crosswalk down the street. But you wonder
why a book gets tossed, if a dog is ever found.
You thought to stop to read the title, to search
for the dog, but you didn’t. And you don’t
ask now which one is Joe when you stand
at the jukebox, studying the note taped
to the glass: Don’t play G7 if Joe is here.
It brings him bad memories.
Published in Barnwood International Poetry Review