The dining room was lovely,
Big windows - ceiling to the floor.
Displaying city lights at night,
And twinkling stars galore.
French doors opened in the Summer,
To admit soft, evening air.
Fresh flowers placed upon the tables,
Just before the evening fare.
The dishes sparkled; the silver gleamed,
The white table cloths, inviting.
Soft music in the background,
Kind and gentle lighting.
A relaxing, quiet atmosphere,
Conducive to conversation.
Filled always to capacity,
Requiring reservations.
Grace and Jack dined there often,
In fact, nearly every day.
Their same table held for them,
By the window, near the buffet.
They'd meet at the door, near twilight,
The view, most pleasant then.
One by one the city lights came on,
They both enjoyed watching them.
When the sun was fully done,
A trillion lights came into view.
Then ten trillion stars shone from above,
Their eyes upon the window glued.
"Spectacular!" said Jack,
Grace heartily concurred.
Her eyes, reflecting all those lights,
"Awesome!" was her breathless word.
They watched the lights and ate their dinner,
Their minds, a million miles away.
To other places - other times,
Other people - other days.
Comfortable in their silence,
Neither felt a need to speak.
Their conversation perfect,
Their communication quite unique.
The busboy cleaned their table,
Yet neither one of them had moved.
Then Grace turned her head and looked about,
They were the last ones in the room.
"Oh Jack, we'd better go, I think,"
Jack nodded, rising from his seat.
He helped Grace slide her chair back,
Then helped her to her feet.
She placed her hand within his arm,
They walked together to the door.
Then, he said, "I'll see you home,"
And she said, "Oh my, whatever for?"

Because I want to," Jack replied,
"We've had such a lovely time."
"Yes." Grace smiled, "Haven't we?
I think the lights tonight were fine."
"Spectacular!" once more Jack said,
He patted her small hand.
"Awesome!" Grace repeated, too,
Jack said, "We will do this again."
Busily chatting, arm in arm,
Together, they left the place.
A handsome pair, with their silvered hair,
A smile on each aging face.
Down the hallway, to the right,
Through the elevator door.
Rising slowly, five stories up,
Next they were at Grace's floor.
She fumbled with her key,
Jack removed it from her hand.
Unlocked her door, returned it to her,
An old-fashioned, gallant man.
"Will you sleep well tonight?" Grace asked,
Concern upon her face.
"I believe I will, with those new pills,
Thank you so much for caring, Grace."
Jack squeezed her hand; she kissed his cheek,
And slipped inside her door.
"Don't forget tomorrow," he called,
Turning toward the corridor.
Nice lady - Grace, Jack thought,
Good company, too - the best.
But his mind went back in time,
To his beloved Bess.
His Bessie and he had sixty years,
He sighed, that's more than most folks get.
Well, that was yet another chapter
Of another life, he'd not forget.
As he neared his room, he met a friend,
Who cried, "Hey, we miss ya', Jack.
Our poker games just aren't the same,
When ya' comin' back?"
"Not soon - I'm dating now, you know,"
Jack grinned, not meaning to be glib.
"Get outa' here - an old fool like you?"
His friend winked and poked him in the ribs.
Jack laughed and went into his room,
Actually, he felt proud.
He was the only one that had a girl,
Of his whole Senior crowd.
He knew the other guys were lonesome,
Now, probably jealous, too.
They didn't like to talk about it,
Teasing seemed the thing to do.
Jack stepped over to his window,
The twinkling lights still all in place.
He smiled then and mused aloud,
"Are you looking at them, Grace?"
Virginia (Ginny) Ellis
copyright 2001 ~ revised 2006


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