100 Seconds to Midnight
(With apologies to Shel Silverstein.)
The clock stands at 100 seconds to midnight
At the Bob Oppenheimer Cafe,
The burgers are grilling, the lights are too bright,
And the jukebox is on autoplay.
Less than two minutes, is what the hands show,
Where the patrons all hope they will stay,
At least till they've finished. There's nowhere to go,
But the food keeps the panic away.
The short order cook with the navy tattoo
Is salting a basket of fries,
He studies the hot fat and thinks, 'What is true?
This world is a tissue of lies.'
Two men in dark suits are fighting with words,
They argue, and haggle, and mock.
They promulgate theories that sound quite absurd
In public at stupid o'clock.
A man and his wife sitting close side by side
Are wondering what they will do.
They don't have an agenda, along for the ride,
But the clock's counting down for them, too.
The big-screen TV shows what there is to see
Outside, where the world's on the move,
Armies in motion from ocean to ocean,
Leaders with something to prove.
The jukebox is playing, the voices are saying,
There's something that's happening here.
Another's emoting about guns exploding,
But really, there's nothing to fear.
The man in the far corner booth sighs a sigh,
And signals a coffee refill.
He's spent all his life just wondering why,
Found no answer, and now never will.
And the clock stands at 100 seconds to midnight
At the Bob Oppenheimer Café.