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The Small Restaurant

by Robert Betts (Age: 71)
copyright 06-01-2001

Age Rating: 13 +

Yesterday evening I found myself walking,
down quiet street, with myself talking.
Shimmering shadows were dropped at my feet,
carved by the globes lighting the street,
My eyes had dropped in quiet delight,
drinking in patterns cast by street light.
I switched to a shuffle so to enjoy,
a simple pleasure I knew as a boy,
crunching and rustling the new fallen leaves,
dropped from the arms of old gnarled trees.
From the crushed leaves, sweet odor arose,
bringing back memories, tickling my nose.

I shuffled awhile then lifted my eyes,
to see colored lights to my surprise.
A neon sign flashed from a small restaurant,
proclaiming they had "All you could want."
I wandered in, met maitre d'Ítre,
who showed me a table, gave menu to me.
Scanning the choices, they filled me with awe,
It resembled no menu that I ever saw.
"Power and Wealth", "Friendship and Loyalty",
"Love mixed with Sex", or "Family Serenity".
Many more choices, "All you could want",
they were all served in this small restaurant.
There on the menu in small gothic script,
neatly appeared this short little quip,
"All of our choices, they are all free,
to do otherwise, a bother 'twould be."

The waitress asked, "Have you decided?
but choose carefully," she smilingly chided.
Most of our patrons choose 'Power and Wealth,'
but then," she smiled, "they're bad for your health."
So then I asked, "can I choose a la carte?"
"Assuredly, sir," she said with a start,
"but some combinations will give indigestion,
and so if you'll take my little suggestion,
choose some small portions of anything here,
things that you like, things you hold dear.
But surely you know that wealth fosters greed,
and it's a substance of which we've small need,
Wealth gives trouble to near everything,
although it seems to be a good thing."

"I'll have a bit...," I started to say,
but then the small restaurant faded away,
dissolved then became the walls of my room.
Ah, my dear friend, just a little too soon.
I noticed my walls were pulsing and glowing,
I went to my window, curious, not knowing,
looked 'cross the street and to my great surprise,
a very strange greeting, greeted my eyes.
A neon sign flashed, "All you could want,"
in the tiny window of a small restaurant.

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        09-24-2005     Brian Dickenson        

I rather like this. It flows well.
As you say, life is like a meal, but of course there are no free lunches.
So often we confuse what we want, with what we need. Overindulgence is the curse of our western society.
On the food level, we have forgotten that we should eat to live, not live to eat.
Good message Bob,

        08-31-2003     Barry Clopton Lanier        

Riveting yet nimble inducing thought beyond the traditional, a reader would be perplexed, a poet would savor, great work

        02-11-2003     Melissa Jung        

Again, your creative energy is astounding. Bravo!!

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