Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Poem of the day

April is National Poetry Month.


I’ve been discovering a lot of new poets and am intrigued by all that is out there, so I may keep this up after the month is over . . .


This one felt right today. I’ve been in quite a bummer mood for the past few days – can’t quite tell why.


Man Drowning in Restaurant
By David Kirby

A man is drowning in a crowded restaurant.

Something about his meal upset him,

and he wanted to cry, but he was afraid

that the other customers would make fun of him,

so now he is filling up with his own tears.

Waitresses hurry past with cups of soup

and slices of pâté, plates of chicken and fish,

ice cream and coffee, while the drowning man

struggles to free himself from his light brown jacket

and cream shantung shirt, tries to kick off

his dark trousers, his brown shirt and white shoes.


He is an embarrassment to his friends.

He will have to drop his club memberships,

his fianceé will break with him,

and almost certainly he will lose his job,

but right now he is trying so hard to reach

the pure air near the ceiling
that he cannot begin to say what it is

that upset him so in the first place;

to drown has become his raison d'être.


The other customers continue to eat;

either everything is to their satisfaction

or they know better than to take disappointment

to heart. The drowning man wants them to notice

how well he drowns, but now they are putting on

their coats and unwrapping the little mints

the waitresses have given them along with their checks.

In the half-light of the empty restaurant

the drowning man looks like a dancer

doing something difficult but beautiful

and useless, something to live for.





1 comment:

justrose said...

you have great taste in poetry.