Sunday, September 10, 2017


The widow sits in the restaurant alone,
pressing a few buttons on her new cell phone.
Her children got it for her, for her birthday.
They had it mailed, since they live so far away.

She doesn’t really know how to use the thing,
so she sets it down, and waits for it to ring.
It doesn’t ring.  Nobody’s calling.
But women her age are prone to falling

and her kids told her to keep it close by.
That phone may postpone the day that she’ll die.
The widow picks up a spoon, presses into mashed potatoes,
eats, slowly scoots around some cherry tomatoes,

around and around on the white dinner plate
and the clock on the wall says it’s getting late.
She stays in the booth, chewing a small bite,
and this is how she’ll spend most of her night

because the widow knows as soon as her meal is through,
she’ll have nowhere to go and nothing to do.
In a booth nearby tonight, there happens to be a widower.
He’s lonely too, but he looks away.  He doesn't talk to her.

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