Monday, February 15, 2016

To the Old Man Eating Alone on Valentine's Day

You are dressed in a red button down shirt
  a sharp red and black tie
Your comb-over doesn’t cover your bald spot
The waitress helps you with your coat and cane
“Thank you,” you say a little loud
   as if your hearing is bad
The waitress removes the other three place settings
“Would you like something else to drink?” she asks
“No, water is fine.” You smile at her
She takes your order and soon returns with your hot and spicy soup.

I wonder what your story is…
The restaurant is filled with couples and families
It is Valentine’s day
You watch the others around you as you enjoy your soup
Tipping the bowl to get the last drops out
Then I see it
Left hand, reflecting the light
  a solid gold ring
  but you are alone
What is your story?
Has your wife passed away?
Was this her favorite restaurant?
Is this where you first said I love you?
Or maybe presented her with the companion ring to yours?
Is your home filled with framed memories and carpet that needs replaced?
Are you happy?
Is this day a bittersweet moment?
We make eye contact
I smile, so do you.
Are your eyes filled with memories?
They seem on the verge of tears
You turn away your smile as the waitress brings your lunch
Our waitress brings boxes and the check
You sit with pride
  dressed in a red button down shirt
  and a red and black tie
A perfect outfit for Valentine’s day
Whatever your story is
   she must have made it unforgettable