Aroma was homey in the holy man’s
invisible presence. I glanced around
At the faces at the table.
“Do you mind my sitting here?”
Amicably I said.
“Not at all,” a plump lady replied.
Light conversation went on, pleasant as spring.
“Everything’s fine there?” A loud man lumbered over
To our table. Everyone turned to the man.
“I was just,” the man went on, his goggling eyes
Over me, the only Asian woman there, “wondering, since
She’s a trouble maker.”
Startled, I let my eyes followed the man strutting
Away. Strange man, I thought.
I turned to the plump lady. “We are getting along
Just fine here, aren’t we?” I asked.
“As long as you don’t make trouble, that is,”
She snapped. At the table, the balmy atmosphere earlier
Had turned to chill.
Pastor’s wife hurried to the empty table nearby, speaking
Under her breath, “He’s just, uh, joking.”
When I moved to her, she told me,
“He likes you.”
“Why didn’t he tell me so, instead of lying?”
Pastor’s wife shrugged.
Shaking my head, I changed the subject,
“How is Amy?”
“she’s getting married soon.”
“I’m happy for you, both,” I said.
As we chatted and laughed, the room regained
the warmth, and the nasty twister slipped
Out of the room.
©Byung A. Fallgren