Fortune Cookies
by Michael Neal Morris

Just a table over
a group cracked open fortune cookies
and joked as each message
was read aloud.
Three men two women
--but is that important?--
as old as my mother
but not old in the way
I expect to envision her.
Obviously they were
comfortable moving
like a baroque suite
from laughter to news of church members
to somber tones to laughter again.
I cannot remember the jokes
or the messages, only the laughter
as I waited alone
for my dinner
chest tightening
with each guffaw.

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