LOST IN AMERICA

You enter a diner far from home,
in a state or neighborhood you’ve never visited before –
and you know the place:
it comes straight from the catalog of diners

so you’re sure you’ve been here –
the brass chandeliers and the Early American formica;
the railings and tables;
you know where the restrooms are and where the cashier sits.

When you pay at the familiar counter with its toothpicks and mints
and push open the customary door,
what country will you be in? what season? what year will it be?
and who will you be, and why?

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One comment

  1. Ed Curtis · · Reply

    The Agawam Diner on Old Route 1, North Shore of Boston. Almost exactly the same as in 1957, the year I got my driver’s license. Old ceramic mugs that grind in a familiar way on your front teeth. Pie in an enclosure of cylindrical plastic, designed for pies and cakes on diner counters. Designed to make you want what is inside, including the mixed aromas held captive wihin. Spinning stools of chrome plated steel with a big red button of vinyl upholstery on top. The chrome is a bit thinner now, especially where your shoes strike the gracefully flared base. But the coffee cups still grind and the stools are still filled. Bacon, scrambled eggs and hot raisin bran muffins still raise my spirits along with distant memories.

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