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Elegy For an Invisible One

A solitary at table, insipid food on his tray,
forgotten picture, as he'd been one day...
by a wife long gone on; by children on their own
busied way, problems with their four, nearly-grown;
by Time's ruthless march; by old friends, names tongue-tip,
faces clear, yester-year, yesterday when the trip
he'd made to see them was a short one to the mall...
he's alone with bland food's bathetic recall.

Like vellum parchment, timeworn, blue-veined hands
lift a fork, pause mid-air... as if stern demands
of important checklists were slowly ticking off...
he bows in blessing of his fare. Picking off
his plate one bean, inspecting, ingesting
in quiet resignation, he investing
with honor mastication, so hesitant
lest blandness render the taste nonextant.

Clamor, words everywhere, none to him direct,
unnoticed, invisible, absent disrespect,
all convey cognizance of personal wellbeing,
no pretense of blindness impairing their seeing.
To himself, a wasteland, a complacent lone
monument, emptiness etched in human stone,
weathered face unaware other eyes would find him,
sits the wretched dinner guest, without ties to bind him.

--Le Goobairre Extrodinarre

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copyright 1998, The Goober Tree Press, all rights reserved