Greasy Spoon Day-Dreaming

In a diner on the side of the highway
my shaking hand pours coffee, flips burgers
as my cigarette takes orders at the bar.

Erich-Sokol-cook-chef-diner-illustration

We have hot soup-du-jour, burgers, and eggs
for the hitchers, truckers, and farmers
who dust themselves by the door
and chat about the weather.

Doris DeLynn, with her big hair, and round hips
serves Salisbury steaks, with cole slaw, and hash.
Her make-up cracks when she winks an eye.

We stay open all night, almost every night.
Drifters come and go with bindle in hand.

Pastel blue table-cloths weep over potted petunias
plucked fresh from the little garden I got out back.

Every other day, mood willing, Doris takes me.
I flip the sign around in the door, and we romp
a sweaty, sticky mess in the old, dusty office.
Doris’s perfume stings my tongue when I mash my face in her neck
as I picture prom queens, and old flings from a lifetime ago.

The day arrives, when Doris leaves me for good.
She trades me in for a salesman, who drives a big Ford
and carries a card, a briefcase, and such.
She’ll move to the city, and grow into a salesman’s fat wife.

I’ll grow older, and more bitter, until the day I shoot myself
seated at the desk, in the office, where Doris used to take me.

And, I suppose, no one will come to that old diner again.

BSB

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Original artwork by Eric Sokol
Photograph by Gregg Obst
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Diner Fantasy

in a diner on the side of the highway
my pudgy hands pours coffee
my beard takes orders at the bar

we have hot soup du jour, burgers and eggs
hitchers, truckers, farmers and bums

Doris DeLynn serves steaks and hash
her make-up cracks when she winks an eye

we stay open all night – every night – no fail
drifters come and go with bindle in hand

pastel blue table-cloths weep over rose bouquets
plucked from a garden stuck out in back

every other day, mood willing, Doris takes me
a tired, sticky mess in that old, dusty office
I picture prom queens and flings, long since gone

then the day arrives she leaves me for good
trades in for a salesman who drives a big Ford
and carries a card, a briefcase and such
she’ll move to the city and grow fat as his wife

I’ll grow old and bitter until I shoot myself
in the office where Doris used to take me

no one will come to that old diner again