Ronald Moran, Lunch Downtown

Ronald Moran

I am in this restaurant with my daughter and granddaughter
for lunch,
and this server begins by telling us how he broke his glasses
this morning
and can see clearly only in the distance, a kid probably home
from college.

Now no one else can get another word in, ever since Sally,
my daughter,
had to ask him, How did you break them? Which, of course,
to a discourse involving something like flexible rims that one
can twist

like sticks of licorice; and, meanwhile, as I am trying to read
the menu
the letters seem to be leaning this way or that, and swooping
the menu like lost swallows on a flight back home. And then,

I realize that I am confusing my vision with his, that somehow
in this
corner of the universe, I have actually empathized with someone
I do not
know, nor ever will, but our tracks have crossed some invisible

like those that keep dogs in yards or old people in the home,
if only
momentarily, and so I listen more carefully, take my eyes off
the menu,
and nod sympathetically, as he now begins to recount his past,


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