Automat

My poem Automat is up today at the Ekphrastic Review. Here is the art and the poem.

Automat

I imagine she looked

much like this—

abandoned 

at the Horn & Hardart

near the public library. 

The cloche is new—

always a frugal girl,

she saved her spare change

to buy it.

She has been waiting

much more than an hour—

the wretched coffee

has long gone cold.

I promised I would be there.

“To talk,” I said.

“To patch things up.”

Lonely now

in a new way,

she can only wonder

why I’ve chosen not to.

Perhaps a more

talented artist than I 

might paint

my likeness

as I sit at a similar table

crosstown.

And buried somewhere in that painting

might lie the answer—

in the worry lines

around my eyes, 

or in the tremor

captured

in the stillness of my hands?

I don’t know.

Do we ever 

really know?

It’s been years now,

and painting this picture 

has given me one last chance

to make amends—

to place myself at your table.

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2 Responses to Automat

  1. maryrohrerdann says:

    oh wow, steve, what a great poem – speaks a gut truth about this iconic painting
    m

    Mary Rohrer-Dann

    “Tell me, what is it you plan to do
    with your one wild and precious life?”

    Mary Oliver “The Summer Day”

    Like

    • stevieslaw says:

      Thanks Mary. Ekphrastic poems seem to write themselves immediately after I see the art. Or, nothing comes. And then, I can stare at it forever and it will still lead to nothing. Do you have a similar experience?

      Sent from my iPad

      >

      Like

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