Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Sandy Solomon: Waiter Taken at Noon, Buenos Aires, 1976

And you, who have not left your country

because you must; you, untested

by the state’s intent to harm;

you, a lucky one, whose only life

fattens and lazes on the couch even

as the camera’s faceless voice insists

something horrible happened here,

can you imagine the unrecorded

knock, the disappeared whose gestures

resembled yours but sooner stopped?

 

An ordinary place, a waiter—

extended arms on which plates balanced;

smells of steak, sweat, gravy;

bluster of drink in the thick, chipped

glasses—taken. They told him, Come.

To imagine his life does not redeem

your own, but not to imagine seems

worse, collaboration, as he straightened,

untied his apron, food-stained and frayed,

and folded it carefully on the chair rail.

Outside, car doors slam shut.


 

Copyright 2018 Sandy Solomon

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