Poetry: Conversation in a Diner

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Conversation in a Diner

In the diner today,
the topic of conversation seems to be leaving,
waitresses and patrons talking,
not quietly,
of their fleeing from relationships long and short,
of the abuse and the lies,
of the pain of it all,
the fear and the loss and the journey back
to this place and this moment.

They sip coffee and nod
as each tale unfolds,
of emotions torn asunder,
love carefully shredded like cabbage for cold slaw.
There is a comradery here,
survivors,
soldiers in a war of attrition.

They nibble on muffins and smile.
No pity party here,
more an acknowledgment
of each other’s journey, and the similarities
that drove them to leave behind what once had been love
and had transformed like some sad chemistry experiment,
into something different.

The stories are different.
There was violence here.
There was emotional warfare there.
Another was stripped of her soul in tiny shreds.
And another driven mad with lies.

In the end, they were left invisible,
not mattering,
a thing of convenience and habit,
a dartboard for the pain, easier to inflict than purge,
until they felt invisible,
and in that invisibility
it was stay and die,
or leave.

They laugh and the sound carries through the diner.
Their scars are showing
but they no longer are invisible.
They live, vibrant and safe at last
from the long slow death of love
gone awry.

About this poem

Based on real conversations in one of the diners I visit. And my own experiences.

Tom

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