I search the newspaper for something good.
Four lines in the vast page of theatres
catch my eye. The only cinema in town.
Easy to find – down Beacon, left on Third.
A half hour drive from the city, lovely
along the sea, in this June evening chill.
There is no marque or sign, only the door
flung open – people streaming in. I call out
to a woman on the street. Ask for the theatre.
She laughs. Says that’s the easiest question
I’ve been asked all day as she points to the door.
I park up the street, join the townsfolk inside.
Two movies showing: Madagascar and
the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. The lobby
thronged with kids, parents and of course,
the seniors, alone and in pairs, who
have heard that this movie for the beautiful
and the elderly will make us laugh and weep.
There are no lineups I can discern.
Everybody wants everything all in a lump.
Young girls turn over popcorn and sodas
to eager palms. A small hand-lettered sign
says Tickets with a tiny arrow but no one
is standing there. Such a flurry.
We, the older ones, look at one another.
No one impatient, though it is nearly time
for our movie to start. A mother turns to us,
says if you want marigolds you should step up.
And so a few edge forward, relieved.
Such a kind form of chaos.
The children all land wildly in Madagascar.
Our film has started, the sound is not too loud.
I find a seat beside someone who smiles.
It is like that all the way to the end. We laugh,
feel inspired to go on a little further – with the movie,
with our lives – and when I leave it isn’t even dark.