Empty Diner


My Dad’s old Texaco is now a florist
Next to an insurance place that was Baskin Robbins
On the other side was Wienerschnitzel
Now it’s a rental car place, before that, Motophoto
For the longest time this town never changed
It was stuck in a line of a simpler time
Now when I go back, arcade’s turned to hair salons
All that’s left standing is that empty diner

The same people own it and they’re getting old
Too old to put in the work that once made it grow
And every time I go back I expect it is closed
Every time my grandmother says anytime I suppose
She heard from someone at church they’re in debt to the bank
And keep falling further, but can’t let go
And we eat there after church, just out of pity
The food’s gotten terrible, the décor is old

One time while I was in town for several days I rode my bike
Like when I was a kid past all the places I used to play
I rode by this bridge where I’d always see a turtle
A damned if there wasn’t one basking in the morning sun
This was just another day that struck me as sad
That my dad and his station are gone and I stared
At that florist, must have been for hours
And I cried and cried for the first time in years

This was just days before my mother had died
I was in town to see her and say my goodbyes
Everyone’s dying, only my grandmother’s left now
It’s hard to find time to see her and I rarely call
But when we do talk, I tell her I’m fine
I try to disguise that I’m losing my mind
And she tries not to break down about her husband
And both of her kids recently dying

Thanksgiving’s coming and I’ll just have to go
Last time that we talked she said that diner is closed
And I’m flooded with memories, a full table of family
When that place was hopping and the food was amazing
And life as I knew it is never coming back
But I’m thankful for everything that I’ve ever had
And sometime while I’m there I’ll find time of my own
And sit in the lot of that diner that now is closed

I’ll think of my childhood and all of the memories
My mother, sister, my dad and my daughter
She’s got a kid now and I worry about her
More than I could ever convey to you right now
I’ll leave that town, and I’ll rarely go back
The changes that take place while I’m gone will be vast
Hopefully when the days I have are winding down
I’ll find myself buried in this once small little town

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