As I Sloped in…

As I Sloped in…

As I sloped into the restaurant

I noticed the checkered tablecloths

I quickly computed my vision

To try to decide what it reminded me of

I didn’t notice I had stood-still in deep concentration

in the middle of the floor –

nowhere near the ‘wait here to be served’ sign

Rifling through my past experiences of

Checkered tablecloths – my mind jumped from

Neckties to shirts and blouses –

I jumped to black and white distant

Pathe news reminiscences of camouflaged warships

Ending with the Oklahoma musical that contained

the quintessential essence of checks

At least in my blurred memory it did

I got past the checkerboard pattern enough

To look at the menu when seated

This was a pregnant moment – that moment of

umpteen-times-repeated

When the perusal of choices once again has to

conclude – there’s little variation in the chicken dishes

Have you noticed that?

Chicken is on the way out

I don’t eat steak since my wife

weaned me of it when first we met

Chicken she makes – and chicken we eat

With little thought for other meat

But though I have had a

checkered-past in restaurants

I am sat staring at the tablecloth and drifting

Into another painting in my head

Before I write this poem – instead

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