Eating on a Budget

Eating on a Budget

My Friday Denny’s dinner.

Scrambled eggs, scribbled frogs spread in butter,

Wax colored. Green and blue.

Boyfriend wars with the waiter. Plates grease-set

Given hastily, the check begged

Then delivered scrawled wearily while

The waiter waits for the tip she barely earns.

Her customer is not happy.

He turns to me, “Hope dies here,”

Because the walls are painted purgatory, even

Kids wear an Erebus cape,

Slaves to their parents’ pancakes and poverty,

Juice watered down drinks and the checkered

Dull drapes hung drearily,

Carpet screaming for a cleaning,

Battery-powered banter fueled by hunger,

Problems “Kids Eat Free” nights can’t sustain.

Christmas holiday cheer doesn’t live here,

Doesn’t bless the tinsel taped menus

Or the overhead carols which carol with

A mind numbing tune, a soprano or baritone

Breaking bread across the bleak,

Merry Christmas, it sings, Merry Christmas to all,

All but the forgotten and the poor and the meek.

—Erin Passons, 12-2014
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