IN THE CAFÉ, WANTING EARPHONES

This is where I need the earphones
that magnify sound:  that couple
on the sofa, somewhat entangled,
occasionally laughing, is talking a little
too quietly for me to overhear.
The help are talking, too,
as they clear the noon-rush clutter.
I catch one lover saying three quarters,
a customer at the counter the wrong time.

like the sixties  
North America
they all crashed into the rocks
day old bagels  
so it’s just you  

Always I want to know
the business of strangers,
their urgent lives nothing to do
with me.

any latté cups
rain.  And the kittens
too far to row
haircut, and pink handtowels
invited her to speak

I imagine they
want to know my business too:
who is that woman drinking coffee alone
and what is she writing in that book,
and why does she stop, stare
out the window at the river,
and why does she smile?

kept talking and talking
more fish except tuna
day Carol died
understood the agenda
expensive to fly

But  on my porch, with the earphones,
in the evening, in the rain,
everything is simple, clear.
I hear a hundred robins singing,
and the peepers in the pond
three-quarters of a mile down the road.

This is poetry month, so I’m planning to post One Poem Per Day.

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