Nebraska Center for Writers

INTERLUDE
by Mordecai Marcus

Past two,
my wife and I
are here for lunch —
to celebrate
that a danger
to our daughter
has quickly passed.

But the room fills
with a child's
unceasing cries
that rise from fears
reason cannot touch.

To my query,
the waitress replies
that no one sits
on the smoking side,
so we move there
with polite care
and find an array
of beautifully
bare tables,
where we take a place
half way down.

Testing its peace,
we feel the luck
of an esplanade
when the sun
is softly bright
and few are there.
We are almost placed
at a cafe
reserved for us
near Paris.
As we choose our food,
from far around
the dividing L
fragments loop
from the child's cry,
echoing fears
that lie ahead,
but as we talk
with old familiarity,
an easy space
breathes briefly back.

Reprinted with permission
from Whole Notes
Copyright © 1996
by Mordecai Marcus


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