|Wayside Diner - Paterson, NJ|
All the Jersey diners have vanished, those old silver
rectangles with their counter stools that twirled,
their neon lights, their metal tables and fake leather used.
After we’d go out with a crowd, we’d always end up
at one of those diners, each group wanting to stop
at a different one — West’s diner on Rte. 46 in Little Falls,
Libby's in Paterson, Madison Avenue diner near
Railroad Avenue. Looking back, I see our young faces
lit by the harsh diner lights,
and only from a distance do we know how protected
we were, how we’d mourn the passage of time,
the loss of so many we loved,
the vanishing of these diners, replaced by malls
and shopping centers, hotels, and big box stores,
the diners glowing only in memory, and their tacky
glory, and we, our faces still untouched by grief and loss,
caught and framed in the diner’s windows.
by Maria Mazziotti Gillan
|Madison Diner - Paterson, NJ|
Maria Mazziotti Gillan's most recent books are the poetry and photography collection, Paterson Light and Shadow and the poetry collection, What Blooms in Winter . Her collection of poems along with some of her paintings is The Girls in the Chartreuse Jackets . Maria's official website is MariaGillan.com.