A Friday Dinner-date

mexican food in clay pots on a counter

Frankie attends his first after-school trip. Mira and I take advantage of this to go to dinner by ourselves. A short drive to downtown Suffern, and we walk from the commuter parking lot in the center of town up to our favorite Mexican Restaurant, Hacienda de Don Manuel.

We’re early enough to be immediately seated, for a change. We order seafood entrees¬—Camarone Fajita and Enchilada Cancun—along with a small pitcher of red sangria. Then we relax in the casual ambiance, glancing around at the décor: colorful mosaics of traditional pueblo life, Mexican artifacts on the walls like sombreros, and the Mariachi, who has already begun to play for a house filling up fast.

Our entrees arrive. I savor my first bite: sautéed shrimp, mixed with melted cheese, green peppers, onions, and soft taco. It has a velvety texture that teems with flavor, balanced by the suitably bland refried beans and brown rice. I wash it down with a sip of sweet sangria as the Mariachi serenades us. He sings a song about the meaninglessness of a life without love.

How apropos!

chips and salsa
dim light glinting from
her closing eyes

Photo by Roberto Carlos Roman

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Frank J. Tassone

Frank J. Tassone lives in New York City's "back yard" with his wife and son. He fell in love with writing after he wrote his first short story at age 12 and his first poem in high school. He began writing haiku and haibun seriously in the 2000s. His haikai poetry has appeared in Failed Haiku, Cattails, Haibun Today, Contemporary Haibun Online, Contemporary Haibun, The Haiku Foundation and Haiku Society of America member anthologies. He is a contributing poet for the online literary journal Image Curve, and a performance poet with Rockland Poets. When he's not writing, Frank works as a special education high school teacher in the Bronx. When he's not working or writing, he enjoys time with his family, meditation, hiking, practicing tai chi and geeking out to Star Wars, Marvel Cinema and any other Sci-Fi/Fantasy film and TV worth seeing.

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