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Olson’s by Roger Soffer

14 Jun 2017, Posted by Editor in Poetry

OLSON’S

 

At last our lunch at the Swedish deli, all

formica and marble and the clatter of dishes,

pickles, mustard, fresh-baked rye and

your eyes that I once thought looked past time but now

at 12 o’clock, flit, and I am like you,

we talk about Beckett, your paper, my trip,

the mixture of your words and mine

recording whatever we did and we didn’t

and the pastrami at the edge of your lips and the waiter’s

fly and the ice stays hard in the tea

and we won’t say it, not we two upon whom

the sun shines from skylights twenty feet above,

we two in a Bruegel painting, we two

stuck in the paper straightjackets of our indispensable small talk,

our hands turning in the air, searching

for what must be some word, some

surely previously invented word,

perhaps full of motion, or silence, or both,

above the potatoes with homegrown chives,

something above the murmuring chorus,

or are they silent, or are they mighty but unheard,

and you say your mother, whom I’ve never met,

makes pasta out of zucchini flowers

and I’m sure there will be thunder, or meaning,

and my hand is gesturing again, lower,

as if digging, and once we were friends.

 

 

 

 

About the author:

Roger Soffer has written, and sometimes produced, miniseries and feature films for networks and studios, and is currently writing two bi-lingual animated features for China and Universal, as well as casting “The Door With 2 Rooms,” for production near the end of the year. His poetry has been Pushcart Prize-nominated.

Art Credit: Joost Waal, Rotterdam, Netherlands, @jcdoublev

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