January 13, 2011
Custom User Avatar
More by this author
She was the silent, shielded waitress,
fluent in the tongue
of waffles and multi-flavored syrups—
boysenberry, maple, sugar-free.

It was impressive
how she shifted
the gleaming, silver platters:
never missed a table.

She always folded napkins,
left crumpled on the plates,
into tiny paper cranes
to write riddles on their wings.

In a world of debris
and unfinished coffee,
that left simple rings
on the old, wooden tables,
she made sweet
the brevity
of passing glances
and large bills.

Her patience was the solution
to so many petty quarrels:
my orange juice was large;
pulp; pulp-free.

And the many hungry people
who came longing
for her service
could give you an account
of the pattern on her apron,
behind the neatness of the stains
from multi-flavored syrups:
strawberry, blueberry, coconut.

And any single person,
who had seen her serve a pancake or an apple pie,
could describe—
in detail—
the way her nose crinkled
when she concentrated on an order
and the way she wore the barrettes in her hair.

She filled glasses to the brim
and never spilled a drop.

But when she went,
from Hometown Café to the house on Barber
where she lived,
no one heard her singing, songs
of far-off places
and foreign words
that she would never know.
Me encantarĂ­an:
riddled birds
and fly her away.

And in a far-off place,
she will order coffee,
and stain tables
with the fiction of paper cranes.

Join the Discussion

This article has 1 comment. Post your own now!

Hummingbird This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Oct. 28, 2011 at 1:42 pm
All I can say is.... THIS SOOOO deserves to be in the magazine! I absolutely love it! Your words made me see the waitress and her personality. Wonderful!!!!
Site Feedback