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Looking for Madonna at the Croton Diner
By Nathaniel Goldberg
Copyright 2000 Nathaniel Goldberg
A poem about hearing Madonna on radio and trying to find her. The poem that placed third in the Greenburg Poetry competition. (See Note below.)

All right, so I was lonely. Okay, I'll admit it,
I wasn't just lonely, I was terribly lonely.
At 2 in the morning I heard her
on my FM as clear as
the evening moon still eyeballing
me as I barreled down 9A toward Croton.
She had suddenly appeared inside my
radio just like that moon eye
over the Croton Harmon Station.
By two 0 two I knew it was L-O-V-E, one 2 one.
I thought of squeezing into the radio
and joining her. I began to prepare
myself for a quick entry between
the volume control and the station dial.
Should have known I couldn't fit.
By that time, Madonna had finished her song
and dissolved. I hit the train station doing
85. I expected her to be
waiting there for me on the platform.
Ah, she wasn't. At 2:15, I entered
the Croton Diner very slowly.
I didn't want to be disappointed too quickly.
Inside there was Sunny girl as radiant as ever.
Howard, Pete's son was behind the register.
Gordon sat at the counter
sipping coffee.
I walked over to Gordon real slow.
"Seen Madonna?" I asked.
"Get real," he said, and ordered two coffees.

A professor from Suny Purchase who judged the Greenburg contest had this to write about "Looking for Madonna at the Croton Diner."
Chatty, almost silly (but the loneliness is real, legitimate, palpable throughout the poem, in the drivers late night wandering and in the sparsely patronized Diner), colloquial, full of engaging and amusing details. This poem conceives a subject and a tone and approach and carries it out to the very satisfactory and apt ending. If only we could "get real".