16
Aug
08

Lunch

Sitting

In a noisy

Saturday-lunch-crowd

Cafe

With my daughter,

Next

To a noisier

Four-top

With two couples

Of 50-somethings.

His arms

Spread across the table,

In the palms-up pose

Of Christ

At the last supper-

“Notice anything new about my face?”

The tone

Indicating newsworthy importance.

“No, not really. Did you get something done?”

“It’s a regime. Started about six weeks ago. It’s like 6 or 7 different products. My skin has never looked or felt so good in all my adult life!”

“God, you look great!”

“Jesus, you wouldn’t believe how much I’m spending on this shit! It’s crazy, but the results speak for themselves.”

Suddenly

My appetite

Is waning.

Slowly at first,

But I can

Feel

My salad

Becoming

Much less desirable.

Immediately,

I see

That the driver

Of the flashy

Maserati

Is

Sitting beside me.

“I’ve got a girl that I go to see once a week. She checks my progress and advises me on what products I should add or stop using. She can’t believe how far my skin has come in just six weeks.”

Neither can I.

It has come

To sit

Here

Next to me.

Thankfully

My daughter is

Blissfully distracted

By her hamburger and fries.

“I’m tellin’ you, the shit is worth its weight in gold, which is good since that’s what I’m paying for it!”

As he turns

To face

The other

Couple,

I see

The small

(but growing)

Bald spot

And

Maliciously think

To myself,

“I get it now. What else is failing? Little blue pills by the bed, I wonder.”

The bright sun

Outside

Calls to

My daughter,

The Girl of Summer,

And I finish

My salad

And iced tea

So we can

Pay the bill

And leave.

“I swear, I haven’t looked this fucking good since I was 40!”

Recognizing

That

I am

Edging up to

40

Myself,

I feel a knot

In my stomach

Forming

As I struggle

To not say

Anything

On the way out.

As my daughter skips

Down the sidewalk

With her hair

In the sun,

I bite back

The jealous rage

That boils

Within.

Suddenly

And almost without

Notice,

I think

Of the five dollar

Face soap

In my shower

And the cold shudder

Grips me

As I walk

In the summer sun.

Timothy Vance Jackson

08/16/08

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1 Response to “Lunch”


  1. August 17, 2008 at 1:45 AM

    Lot going on in there, Mr. Jackson. It’s often the little things in a poem that thrill me, and what caught me both times I read through was “with her hair in the sun.” Convention would have been “with the sun in her hair” but I like this twist a lot. Well done!

    And you know, if you’re going to be walking in the summer sun, you might want to put some sunscreen on that skin…


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