Drawing by Judith Wolfe
John O'Connor

Poem


      Pensioner

      For twenty years she ran a restaurant.
      Now she forgets that she's told
      me already. She came here sixty years
      ago with her husband, "Before they were old,"

      she says; and I remember the place
      and tell her so, which pleases her.
      She tells me again about the kids
      of the district, how poor they were,

      that she'd give them money sometimes
      if they asked. A restaurant in a back
      alley opposite a dance hall
      that's now a restaurant: black

      walls, black music, and a name
      that changed every year or so;
      and across the way a small eatery
      with lace curtains where others would go.


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