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Birthday Dinner

Let’s see what we have here,

starched napkins, colored candles,

paper flowers, imitation crystal,

simulated parchment menu

one of those ethnic restaurants

possibly Chinese or Thai,

last year’s lady not here yet,

perhaps she’s not feeling well

looks like we’re celebrating someone’s birthday.

I know your face from somewhere

but I can’t quite place you, a while ago

at one of these dinners I think it was.


Gum feels like hell

one of my molars cracked

down to the root so it had to be

extracted, meaning wrenched out

with savage pliers, the gap feels

raw, goes down forever

have a little wine

it will ease the pain, thank you

last year’s lady not here yet.


The menu’s changed since then

(probably the owners as well)

food’s dressed up

foreign looking, it’s strange

I put my tongue there and it’s gone,

last year’s lady still hasn’t arrived.


Excuse me do you have a calendar.

What year is this?  Should I have some

bridge work done or just leave it and get

used to it not being there any longer?


It’s a nice wine, think I’ll have a little more

where’s last year’s lady?  Oh dear,

I think she’s not coming after all.

What’s for dessert?

a glass of cognac would be good.

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© Johnmichael Simon



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