I'm effing tired. No one said they had to be good poems.
Wake up. Get dressed. Get in the car,
remember that you've forgotten something,
run back in, grab it, drive to work.
Clock in, get coffee, get water, get started.
Ice down your line, get out the items you need
to cook for everyone but yourself. Cook
for them all but help yourself to a few bites
of the food you couldn't afford anyway.
Prep phyllo wrapped bries. Prep duck confit
egg rolls. Prep penne, prep bowtie, prep pico
de gallo. Prep yourself for the shift you're
already dreading tonight. Clean down, swap
out the line for the night crew, but don't go home
yet. Take ten dollars from the drawer, run
to the store and get saltines, bring them back, clock out.
Smoke a while and think about the poem
you wish you were writing already.
Water the dog.
Pet him a while and wish you'd had time
to take him to the park like he deserves.
Promise to bring him a pork bone later.
Go back to work. Clock in. Get water.
Get tables. Put on a smile and make them believe
there's nowhere you'd rather be. Pretend you're at the place
you'd desperately rather be. Between tables, write
a few lines about Grandmother Spider moving into your car
spinning single declarative strands across your windshield.
Throw them out. Run food. Refill waters. Sell wine.
Get into an altercation with an uppity bartender.
Put him in his place and regret it all night.
Settle your checks. Find the missing one and
print it again. Settle up, sweep your tables,
Smoke a while.
Now I lay me down to sleep,
set my alarms and say a prayer for my sanity.
Tomorrow may or may not be better but Sunday,
I will count these tips and then,
me and you dog, we're going to the park.