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LAce Posted Monday, January 9th, 2006
The Friendly Waitress
Nonnie Augustine

On my two-top young lovers gaze
at each other and talk, plan, share
her linguini, his prime rib. He butters
her bread and she purrs.
Businessmen on per diems,
eating now to soak up gin,
stare at my hips, chest, legs.
They know the drill. Twenty percent
covers rude looks.

Our king, the chef, rules his steamy
realm with steely eyes. Rum is paced
late into the night when he turns moist,
maudlin, desperate.
The sous chef flirts, quips
chops and slices. Behind the pastries
rheumy eyes collect the breasts,
buttocks, lips, of the girls who
pick up meringues, tarts, and layer cakes.
The dishwashers have a minimum wage perk-
they talk dirty in broken English as they scrape
and clatter plates. Not the junkie.
As his paper pale skin sweats,
his silence is frantic.

I hoist the tray with six covered plates.
Martin manages ten. Never mind.
My back has to last. The toddler
will toss mashed potatoes. They always do.
His mother speaks far down to me.
I hope her sleek blond chignon comes undone.

One more year and Iíll be a practical nurse.
May they all need me to empty their bedpans.

Comments [post a comment]

Posted by Cheryl Chambers on Monday, January 9th, 2006 at 3:27 PM
Great piece, Nonnie! I love it.

Posted by Ramon Collins [ ] on Monday, January 9th, 2006 at 7:55 PM
Nicely Framed, Nonnie -- I knew where and when the scene took place. The juxtaposition between anatomy and food works. Very poetic, too: ". . . his steamy realm with steely eyes . . ." I had a problem with the Opener: What's a two-top? Good, punchy, quick read . . .

Posted by robert knisel [ ] on Tuesday, January 10th, 2006 at 6:21 PM
The piece is very tactile and "his frantic silence" brought that moment right to me as truth.Good work.robrert

Posted by Anna McDougall on Thursday, January 12th, 2006 at 10:38 PM
Vivid scene, Nonnie. Well done!

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