Sy Roth

Friendly’s Visit

Chilly night,
So ice cream seemed appropriate—
two scoops of black raspberry and one scoop of forbidden chocolate,
a double helping of peanut butter topping and strawberries
to beat off the cold and restore memories of sweltering hot days.

Wife swaddled in multi-layers under her puffy coat,
I wrapped in a muffler, coat collar turned up, capped with a woolen hat.
Seated opposite a young couple huddled over a plate of extra-cheesy fries
Morse-coding glances across the aisle;
snickering as they took additional peeks at the old couple
who came to Friday’s to rest among the young—
the squalling babies, acned teenagers,
and a sprinkling of gauche lovers tenderly clutching their iPhones.

Ice cream suddenly lost its warm flavor
buried under the heavy blanket of our age.
When did we become invading Mongols
whipping our horses across a frozen tundra?
When did the cold war begin?

I swirled my ice cream lackadaisically
wishing for their exit, relishing their absence,
the last curly-cheese fry resting like a dead lobster on their plate,
and their uncomfortable gazes.

Chill came from within.
The winter night becoming an iceberg
and we the Titanic.

Sy Roth. Retired after forty-two years as teacher/school administrator, he now resides in Mount Sinai, far from Moses and the tablets. This has led him to find words for solace. He spends his time writing and playing his guitar. He has published in many online publications.
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