Poem: Confessions at the Second Chance Diner

Confessions at the Second Chance Diner

It is not your favorite diner.
It is the place you go when your favorite diner is closed.
Too often, for your taste.
Mediocre food. Bad coffee. Strange omelets.

Still, a place to go, to sit, and write, and work.
A place full of stories, shared table to table
whether meant to or not, the stories fill the air,
and sitting with your third cup
(obviously bad coffee does not preclude you drinking it.)
you hear them all.

You’ve come here for years.
It’s an old place, fifties most likely.
the knotty pine walls remind you of your grandmother’s house,
pristine and bright with varnish. Acoustically perfect,
You hear everything.

Politics. Love. Hate. Failures.
The small stories of small lives.
Sex. Hard work. Predjudices
and their boomerangs.
The price of milk and the price of gossip.
You hear
everything.

But no one need worry.
Over time one story melds into another
like a fine Brunswick Stew,
or a perfect whisky. Mixed into
something beautiful, exotic and familiar.
Tales of redemption. Sometimes.
Never meant to be, and yet they are,
confessions in the Second Chance Diner.

About this poem

I was talking to someone earlier this morning in what I often refer to as my second chance diner, about the possibility of writing short stories based here, in the overhearings that are part of eating in the same little diner day after day.

How to do it without sharing stories not meant to be shared? It may be easier than I think, as over time, the stories and people all blend into a big mess, each ingredient tasted, but melding in the others like a perfect stew,

If you don’t know Brunswick Stew, I have no good way to describe it. Obstentively it is a chicken and vegetable stew, but it is much more than that. When I was a boy, they used to make it in giant cast iron pots at the Surry Hunt Club over bonfires, cooking it all day. It wasn’t just chicken either. Venison, squirrel, rabbit, whatever the latest kill was, also simmered in the pot. Every batch was different. And wonderful.

I have no idea if I will write the book or not.

Tom

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