He sits alone,
studying the sidewalk traffic
that bisects the large restaurant window.
Nothing of this daily bustle strikes him as profound.
The family at the next table watches him
eat his toast, sip his coffee, and he smiles
at how they instantly judge him.
His grizzled two-day-old beard,
his dark drab clothes make him someone
they recognize, a pesky eyesore they wish was invisible.
He glances at the morning tabloid’s headline-driven gossip
masquerading as news. He reads every third paragraph
and still know the score. Names change; stories do not.
He lets loose an exasperated sigh,
unfolds some wilted bills from a worn clip
and leaves them beside the unfinished remains of
a special that was quite ordinary.
The boy at the next table tries to catch his eye,
but he knows better than to allow that.
He’ll pay the cashier near the door,
then escape into a world where
each day becomes another reckless journey,
an ongoing quest for meaning and respect.
Gary Glauber’s works have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, as well as “Best of the Net.” Recent poems are published in Xenith, Corium Magazine, Petrichor Review, Sparkbright Magazine, Poydras Review, Ginger Piglet, Quantum Poetry Review, Tilt-A-Whirl, Thoughtsmith, Red Fez, OVS, Fade Poetry Journal, Heavy Feather Review, and New Mirage Journal.