The Waitress Writes Poetry
by Francine DuBois
UNION CITY, TN: She spills
out her tormented teenage heart
like ranch dressing that awful
first night of waitressing. She
watched it ooze across the table
and she thought: "This is like
my suffering." She grabbed a
napkin before it hit her patron,
saving him from certain despair.
"And I can protect others from it,
but why am I powerless to help
myself?" She had ranch dressing
on her thumb, a blemish of flavor
best served with carrots. She
lurched back to the kitchen to cry,
to be at one with her pain. "No one
could possibly understand this,"
she sobbed, "and how lonely I am."
Meanwhile, her patron had no
salad dressing, but a table full
of soaked napkins that stayed
falsely white as if never soiled.
He did not want to hate her:
he had the images from childhood
of the blue Muppet whom Grover
could never satisfy. He couldn't hate
Grover, and he couldn't hate her.
If he only knew how it would
ruin everything if he didn't
get mad: what then would she
have to wipe up?
end a poem with happiness
unless it's a love poem.
Are you gonna marry me?
Are you my prince? I doubt
it, for I shall never be
happy and no one shall
ever love me." After taking
out new ranch dressing and
apologizing, she was back
in the kitchen glooming around,
eyes glossy in red sockets.
When she caught her reflection
in the chef's massive knife,
her thoughts slipped from the
understanding patron and back
to the suicidal, where good
poetry lives. or so she thought.
Francine's Version -- Hezekiah's
Version -- Inspiration
Previous Poem -- Next
Poem -- Table of Contents