Worth the Walk
Midway into night, you walk the streets of a strange town.
You are hungry and need more than sustenance,
you need refuge from the noise, a difficult thing to find
in this place of perpetual mardi gras and madness
where distractions are the main event, the raison d’etre
for guests and locals alike, a pretending
that bright and loud somehow conveys joy, or power,
when mostly, it conveys something far less,
fear, emptiness – the triumph of pretense, a believing
of protective coloration over soul. And so you walk,
past the bars, past the storefronts with music blaring,
past the red neon lights with the smell of stale wine on the stones.
You walk, sure that rare as it might be, there are quiet places
with food for your body and food for your soul,
out of the way places, worth the walk.
About this poem
I am an off-season kind of guy, the guy who seeks the quiet places to walk and eat and sip coffee. I need peace more than circuses. When I am too far away from those places, I come slowly, oh so slowly, undone.
The photograph was taken in Provincetown, Cape Cod on my first visit there, in March three years ago. In a town where most restaurants bustled, this one whispered. There were few guests, but the food was excellent. The service was discrete and perfect. Just what I needed.
The restaurant folded.