Breakfast out


Eggs crack, bacon sizzles, splatters
Hot pan crashes, dropped dish clatters
Zip by, bob and weave, see ’em go
Waitresses stage carnival show

“What cha have, Hon?” curt words grab
Small woman, pen in hand, green tab
Our eyes meet, her give-a-damn’s broke
Wrinkled face, long haul huffing smoke

“Huddle up!” Head cook lets go scream
Bunched crew looks like pickup ball team
Fronts grill, scrapes crumbs, observe ’em grow
Red torch tats scrawled ’neath his elbow

“Back in a jiff, Hon,” feigns smile with charm
Loads four full plates on her right arm
To distant table, finds her way
But in flash, she limps back to stay

“What’s ya have, Hon?” her canned repeat
“Want white toast, or make it whole wheat?
How ‘bout some coffee while you wait?”
Nod “yes,” look away, like life’s great

Alone one stands, somber eyes linger
Missing left arm, right pinky finger
On her right nub rests thick sliced bread
Balanced, buttered, soon patrons fed

She’s missing teeth; burns, scabs, frayed hair,
Clothes a mess, breakfast folks don’t care
Beauty’s skin deep, ugly’s to bone
Think to myself, where’s she call home.

Next stool down to my right, a lad
Stares out window, asks tuff skinned dad,
“Why do they fly just the US flag?”
Dad’s watching NEWS, tongues in suits wag.

I pay my bill, leave a good tip
Clerk says, “thank you,” tense smile on lip
“Have a blessed day, come back, you hear?”
Rush to my car, put it in gear

Drive away, with caffeinated nerve
Dodge sleepy driver, had to swerve
Eyes scan, mind races, thoughts hazy
Sign reads, “You’re BACON Me Crazy!”

The Poetry Company