The diner sits on the edge of neglect.

Fading neon flickers to an empty window.

Worn carpet remembers yesterday’s crowds

and the pie no one will taste is delicious.

The crumbs live in the corners of the booths

beyond the reach of cleaning rags.

Formica counter tops rubbed to a dull gray.

Even the gum under the table is stale and tired.

Old men vacation with their youth

Roosevelt for President, Glenn Miller’s trombone.

Minds falter to grasp this afternoon

Easier to retreat into yesterday.

Mothers who have outlived life itself

Carry on hunched over their dignified napkins

Pulling coins out of their purse with a surgeons scalpel

Pretending the years as weightless fluttering butterflies.

Once coffee for a nickel, a sandwich for a dime

Tired waitresses smile the same worn smile

The cars roll by on their way to the drive through

The wind spring of the diner is on the verge of stop, stop, stopping.

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