Walter Mencken 10:06 a.m., Feb. 6
- Rhina P. Espaillat
"Reservation," a Poem by Rhina Espaillat
- As if he has decided on a nap
- but feels too pressed for time to find his bed
- or even shift the napkin from his lap,
- the man across the table drops his head
- mid-anecdote, just managing to clear
- a basket of warm rolls and butter stacked
- like little golden dice beside his ear.
- The lady seems embarrassed to attract
- such swift attention from the formal stranger
- who leaves his dinner, bends as if to wake
- the sleeper, seeks a pulse. Others arrange her
- coat about her, gather round to take
- the plates, the quiet form, her name, her hand.
- Now slowly she begins to understand.