In the Restaurant by J.R. Solonche

Were it not for the dog
lying in lazy alertness
beneath the table against his leg

and the stillness of
the man, his utter lack
of fidgeting with the knife and fork,

we would not have known.
Even the eyes, the useless
things themselves, were living eyes

as they darted toward
the waiter’s voice and back to us.
“I see,” we heard him say in response

to something the waiter
spoke too low for us to hear.
And then a bright laugh, and suddenly

that old cliche of sight
was startlingly new,
a blinding flash of light.



J.R. Solonche has published poetry in more than 300 magazines, journals, and anthologies since the early 70s. He is the author of Beautiful Day (Deerbrook Editions), Won’t Be Long (Deerbrook Editions), Heart’s Content (Five Oaks Press), Invisible (nominated for the Pulitzer Prize by Five Oaks Press), The Black Birch (Kelsay Books), I, Emily Dickinson & Other Found Poems (Deerbrook Editions), In Short Order (Kelsay Books), Tomorrow, Today and Yesterday (Deerbrook Editions), True Enough (Dos Madres Press), The Jewish Dancing Master (Ravenna Press), If You Should See Me Walking on the Road (Kelsay Books), In a Public Place (Dos Madres Press), To Say the Least (Dos Madres Press), The Time of Your Life (Adelaide Books), The Porch Poems (Deerbrook Editions), Enjoy Yourself (Serving House Books), Piano Music (Serving House Books), The Moon Is the Capital of the World (forthcoming in October from Word Tech Communications), and coauthor of Peach Girl: Poems for a Chinese Daughter (Grayson Books). He lives in the Hudson Valley.