Literary Yard

Search for meaning

By: Steven Deutsch


We knew back then
you would never
grow old.
Did you?

Today nature threw
a January thaw
as if in rehearsal for spring.
It is a time

to take stock—
kick off your shoes
put up your feet
and let in

the daydreams.
It is the occupation
of those of us
of a certain age.

How would you
have handled
the slowing of age?
Trapped as you

were in a constant
motion. Your arms
and legs tapping,
joints cracking

and your mouth
in constant monologue.
Now and then
someone would

knock you down
just to quiet you.
You had all the traffic
lights for miles around timed.

Stalled at the occasional
red light you’d bristle
like a cat in a cage—
foot on both gas and brake.

‘Til you misjudged
one on Eastern Parkway
and left pieces of metal and glass
scattered for half a city block.


For One Single Yesterday

You ordered steak
and eggs
and a full-bodied
red in that bar

and grill off
the avenue
in the city
that never sleeps.

And the waitress—
pretty in a way
I’d never known
before, made a fuss

over me—understanding
I was under age
and new to life.
Soft jazz

played in the background
and the steak
was a rare wonder.
The wine went

down so easy
that I never took
the trouble to
thank you for it all.

This evening
I had steak
and eggs
and a fine red

at the same grill
you took me to
some fifty years

when the waitress
had me up
and dancing
to something slow

and never –
ending as the sun
set on the city
that never ever sleeps.



It’s just like old times—
the revolving door still needs
a Goliath’s push
and the serpentine coffee bar
built to the slope of the wooden floor
takes most of the room
in its meanderings.

Just like old times—
food so tasteless
I can fool myself
into thinking
my mother
cooked it
fifty years ago.

Like old times—
The waitresses,
too old to age,
still walk the woozy floors
balancing trays
heaped with bacon and burgers,
fries and onion rings.

Old times—
coffee like burnt rags—
remember the jokes
we tried to outdo
each other with—
my brother,
my friend.

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