a not so cheap diner

16 May

this is a poem about how i avoided

the bru-ha-ha at the self-help convention

my mother was there and i couldn’t

sit while they picked apart my crazed reputation

with mom there sighing her sigh and shaking her head

so i left into the rain and the cold

and found a brightly lit but very tacky diner

where i hoped i could have myself some meat loaf

i was surprised to discover that my sister worked there

the one with the jet black hair and a weary look

that said there wasn’t anything on God’s great Earth

that she hadn’t seen or might even have invited

into her home, and seeing her brother wet

and stupid as usual, how he survived she’d never know

she warned me about the meat loaf, it’s $20 she said

but i ordered anyway, and watched how my sister

could smile without smiling, just a hint of humor

beneath all that black, saying “can you believe this?

you and i , kids killing a summer afternoon on the steps

and now here we are in your dream, or my dream

perhaps this is where everyone ends up finally

in a not so cheap diner eating twenty dollar meat loaf

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