It's a hole-in-the-wall
even on the best of days
when construction hasn't ripped Blanco Road
half a dozen new ones.
It could be a pawn shop or tattoo parlor
behind the iron bars and the bumper stickers
promoting local heavy metal bands
and Kinky Friedman's run for governor.
Deer heads festooned with Christmas lights
overlook the open grill.
In your eyes I see the old-timers
who used to play dominoes here all day.
The waitress brings red corn tortillas
sheathing orange cheese, swimming in chili.
This is a meal to make Mom wince,
the sheer grease of it sheening our fingers.
We eat conspiratorially, grinning
across the table. You used to lunch here
with your father. That I will come
someday without you chills me
more than the air-conditioning,
makes my heart burn.
Eat, drink, write a poem -- that's the urging at readwritepoem this week. (They're collecting responses here.) I've written a lot of poems that center around food -- including my Chanukah food poem, Sufganiyot, which is about to be very seasonally-appropriate indeed! But I like to use these poem prompt communities to encourage me to generate new work, so here's a fruit of this week's poetry labors. Maybe some of you Texans will recognize the place I'm writing about. It was a hell of a lunch, I'll tell you what.