Mr Monro

By Kenneth Francis (July 2018)

Night Shadows, Edward Hopper, 1921

Mr Monro dines out solo,  
First time in 40 years
Across the room lovers
Laugh into their beers
Last winter he and Rose
Sat there like queen and tsar
Now she's gone he eats
Alone in retro diner bar
Jukebox plays 'Softly As I
Leave You', as waitress
Quickly cleans a table filled
With crumbs of poppy bagel
Close to Monro a pretty pair
Remind him of how things
Used to be yesteryear:
eating pasta, sipping beer
He and Rose once sat there
Before she became ill;
On napkin piece he writes
Them this, leaves and pays
Their bill; outside, Monro walks
Slowly, as breeze blows cold,
Phone held to ear, listening
To Rose on message old
Strolls to late-night liquor store
Where winos shout and cuss
With bourbon wrapped in paper
Bag he boards a city bus


Kenneth Francis is a Contributing Editor at New English Review. For the past 20 years, he has worked as an editor in various publications, as well as a university lecturer in journalism. He also holds an MA in Theology and is the author of The Little Book of God, Mind, Cosmos and Truth (St Pauls Publishing).

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