Cynthia Anderson – 2 poems

The Regular

 

 

Every afternoon around two,

after lunch, after a nap,

he puts on his wide straw hat

and blue jacket, and walks

a few blocks to the park.

He’s sure to see someone

he knows, and today it’s me,

a friend of a friend, saying hello,

and he remembers, though

I must tell him my name.

They say his wife isn’t well,

she can’t get out any more,

and today he seems distracted,

not quite sure what to say.

Still, we talk for awhile, mostly

about our friend and the fine

day that’s come out after rain.

As I say goodbye, he takes my hand

like a lifeline, squeezing hard—

I know that grip of the very old,

the one that says, Don’t go

the one where loneliness spills over

as the stranger walks away.

 

🍃

 

 

The Ticket-Taker

 

He was a fixture at the Riviera

Theatre, in his blue blazer

and red bow tie, peering out

behind old-fashioned glasses.

Stationed just inside the front

entrance, he greeted each patron

as though he were their host,

tearing their tickets with aplomb.

If asked, he offered his take

on the feature, and his opinion

carried weight—anchored

by a vast knowledge of film.

He was a throwback, like

the theatre itself—worn seats,

limp projection, muffled sound.

But the movies were first-rate,

foreign and independent, never

run-of-the-mill. Authentic.

Then the 21st century arrived:

new ownership. Improvements.

The ticket-taker jettisoned.

He wasn’t the kind who could

start over, though he tried—

he moved to Los Angeles,

failed to find work, drifted,

committed suicide. That wind

in the eucalyptus, those ripples

on the reflecting pool—he haunts

the place where he thrived,

twilight dimming the city,

the show about to begin.

 

🍃

 

 

Cynthia Anderson lives in the Mojave Desert near Joshua Tree National Park. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals, and she is the author of nine poetry collections. Her work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. She co-edited the anthology A Bird Black As the Sun: California Poets on Crows & Ravenswww.cynthiaandersonpoet.com

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