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  • Todd Wooten

Lunch Time Escape

An aging sandwich lies alone on a paper wrapper.

The mysterious loner clutches his book

doling out his daily therapy.

The empty chair across the table

serves as the perfect lunch date.


Thankful the dreaded words, "Mind if I join you?"

are not addressed to him like an unwelcome letter.

Presented with the opportunity

he vanishes into the page.


His eyes lift.

Surrounded by the unintelligible voices

of the multiplying café crowd.

Competitive voices rising.

My God! How many conversations

can a room hold?


He rises to leave in a single movement.

Transmuting food into trash.

Dodging the contact of strangers and eyes.

Advancing towards the Exit sign flickering.


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