Customer of the Day

by Louise Hurd

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    I worked tables last night.

    Streams of customers

    came in waves

    through the door.

    Cook turned ogre,

    Dropped french fries

    on the floor

    And snapped at me when

    she burned her fingers.

    She also burned table 5’s

    steak and shrimp.

    Mr. Table 5 looked at me

    accusingly

    And sent it back.

    The ladies at table 2 said

    they’d like to know

    Where their soups and

    salads were.

    I said, “So would I.”

    They didn’t laugh

    Three boisterous boys

    snickered when I passed

    Till my legs became stilts

    clumping by.

    Then my dad dropped in.

    His stomach just fit

    between table and chair.

    He winked, called me Miss,

    And ordered caviar, though

    we don’t sell that here.

    “That’s okay,” he said. “Just

    give me a smile.”

    Then he ordered a number 2.

    My feet began to rock and

    roll around the room

    Just like in the movies.

    When Dad was done he

    sat back with a toothpick

    in his mouth

    And motioned to me over

    faceless heads.

    He let me eat his pie,

    Kissed me good-bye,

    And left me

    A twenty dollar tip.

    Photography by Steve Bunderson