One light short of a lit grill –Ruth Lehrer

One light short of a lit grill

I went to the diner intending

on ham and cheese but the grill

broke and my cheese

was not grilled brown

and wasn’t even hot to the

touch as the line grew and grew until

the poor waitress started chewing

things that weren’t her nails

and ripped up tickets like there was no

tomorrow and perhaps for her there was

none since the outside parade had signs

with her name plastered like ketchup

which I knew because she said OH like it was

a movie and her name was in the credits

but if that was really true she’d have

popcorn and hot fake butter

but her grill didn’t even work

enough to melt tickets and

I felt sorry for her and the guy

in the back who was

frying fries again and again

trying for that point where

they fight back

but not too much.

Ruth Lehrer is a writer and sign language interpreter living in western Massachusetts. She has written much food-related poetry and fiction which is scattered across the web and print world. Her novel, BEING FISHKILL, will be published by Candlewick Press in 2016. She can be found on twitter at @duckduckF

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