a trial of tuesdays

Poem #5 from tuesday night at emile’s

Back to: tuesday night at emile’s – Introduction

it has been three weeks

nothing has changed

the routine remains the same
attention to the detail of appearance
is thorough

he remains punctual

emile is delighted to see him
as always on a tuesday night
ushers him to the table
is perhaps even more solicitous
than formerly
for emile has taken it
rather personally
as though it was a reflection
on his own character
and that of his establishment


the journal is placed on the table
but the glasses emerge from their pocket
a little more slowly
the gaze through the window
to the footpath and street
to the people passing by
is prolonged and pensive

from time to time
he glances around the room
briefly noting table occupants
and sighting all of the doorways

at the conclusion
of each visual circuit
a slight frown
and pursing of the lips
before return
to the pages of new scientist


dinner is as always
trust emile to see to that
though not even emile can
restore the sensation of taste
that was always such a highlight
but seems now to have mysteriously vanished
replaced by a feeling
of going through the motions
without savour

it is almost a relief
to get to coffee
and the traditional snifter
of port

tuesdays are becoming a trial
after the first week of anticipation
that took him by surprise
the second of a dawning awareness
and now
this depressing realisation

he casts another glance
around the room
nods to himself
then makes his way to the counter
to tot up the bill
share a bland pleasantry with emile

good night

good night


a slow walk
to home
and the self-containment
that now feels a little cramped
where it had always seemed so comfortable
just right

he hangs the clothes
in the wardrobe
takes a glass of water
to the bedside
then slides between the sheets
into a bed that seems
vast and yet

the feeling
he is certain
will pass
and these vague disturbances
will cease to trouble him

but perhaps he should consider dining
in another establishment
venturing out
to other places



© Frank Prem 2003

Tuesday Night at Emile’s Poem #6: an un-operatic shoe

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