Notes on a Napkin

I’m the only person
who is eating alone
in this casino buffet

There are eighteen couples
seven groups of three and
five tables of four or more

The hustling wait-staff are
all working in hustling pairs
Two women are at the register
We’re training tonight said one

At the few empty tables all
the chairs are pushed in so
at some point they all touch
and none stands alone

Everyone is eating and talking and
no one’s frowning or looking at me
I must quickly finish these lines
as I fear I may not even be here

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About the Author

Bill McCloud’s poetry book, The Smell of the Light: Vietnam, 1968-1969 (Balkan Press), reached #1 on the "Oklahoma Best-Sellers" List (The Oklahoman). Most recently his poems have appeared in Oklahoma Today, Oklahoma English Journal, NOVUS Literary and Arts Journal, Tejascovido, and The Coronameron. He has a poem in the new anthology Bull Buffalo and Indian Paintbrush: The Poetry of Oklahoma (TJMF Publishing), edited by Ron Wallace. Counted among the fans of his poetry are songwriters Graham Nash and Jimmy Webb.

Bill McCloud
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