Her eyes dart around the table,
down to her menu, over to my menu,
resting briefly on my left hand,
noting perhaps my empty ring finger,
or the absence of nail polish,
or perhaps how much my hand
now looks like my mother's
as she often points out, then back
to her menu, and then over
to her man's face, on which only
an attractive nose and pleasant lips
are visible under the shiny cobalt blue
sun glasses and battered baseball cap.
When the menu absorbs her,
I stare at her disheveled hair
tied into a crown atop her head
and flash on the little girl she was,
the stunning beauty born into her
and for a jolt of sorrow pricks me,
seeing how it is fading so fast
in the street life she shares
with this nice man.
It seems nothing more will become of her.
This is her life, a life no one could envision
until she began living it.
I can see she doesn't mind it.
She has what she wants:
A man who cares, a mother who
buys her lunch and cigarettes,
and crystal meth.