ONE NIGHT STAY by Howie Good

An old man with eyes like dead sparrows
is telling a story at the next table

in the restaurant of the Quality Inn
in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, something

about the price of scrap metal after the war.
Suddenly he lowers his voice. The Jews,

he mutters. My wife and I look at each other.
Meat hooks. Gas chambers.

Our daughter notices. What? she asks.
I shake my head. We finish eating

and go up to our $74-a-night room
and all lie on one bed and watch TV.

The studio audience is laughing.

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5 Responses to “ONE NIGHT STAY by Howie Good”

  1. Howie Good, a journalism professor at the State University
    of New York at New Paltz, is the author of 11 poetry
    chapbooks, including Still Life with Firearms (2009) from
    Right Hand Pointing, Visiting the Dead (2009) from Flutter
    Press, and My Heart Draws a Rough Map (2009) from The Blue
    Hour Press. He has been nominated four times for a
    Pushcart Prize and five times for the Best of the Net
    anthology. His first full-length book of poetry, Lovesick,
    was released in 2009 by Press Americana.

  2. An understated poem with such profound implications. An amazing poem–

  3. powerful, great piece with
    a stark & disturbing ending…

  4. f.n. wright Says:

    the ending is a real clencher!

  5. thanks to everyone who took the time to respond, and thanks especially for the generous responses.

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