poetry critical

online poetry workshop

The Diners

I’m in the kitchen when
the power goes out.
Cooks hold fiery pans of vegetables,
reductions sizzle,
a wine glass falls on the tile and
shatters near the dishwasher.
We look up and around and at each other
but we don’t panic in the dark;
we’re in a restaurant
not an airplane.
In the dining room,
halogen lights are activated in emergencies.
So they’re on like searchlights in the dark,
blinding and upsetting diners.
I hear silly laughter from a table I can’t see,
children in a fire drill.
I clear the empty bottle of syrah from the table,
the unwanted scraps of a filet mignon,
shrimp and uneaten orzo. And apologize,
and explain that the power is out,
and apologize.
Red wine should be kept at 68 degrees,
I remember one saying,
This prime rib is too fatty,
You never brought me a side of…
In the spotlights, I see refugees.

19 Jan 07

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(4 more poems by this author)

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