At the Old Café

By: KJ Hannah Greenberg

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At the old café, she puffed nicotine’s charms
Into a perambulator that swayed a bit; such
Dragon-breath assayed her wrapped baby.

Wasting no time, a waiter, urged by his manager’s
Stare, scolded. His long finger wiggled back and forth.
Better beer-chugging clients than free-loading women,
Intent on plastic cups of iced water, plus ashtray access,
Warned his boss, in advance of pushing him to her table.

It seems making promises must include considerations;
Fever, interest rates, barometric readings, horoscopes.
(Tide charts mostly remain unreliable, but gypsy
Predictions, even on cloudy days, seem worth pepper).
What’s more, picking clover trumps chewing alfalfa
Spouts, sniffing glue, or spitting tobacco, nearly always,
Killing reindeer and staying frozen armies, excepted.

Seabirds, most fortuitous among avians, dive bomb
Mundanes only when seeking urchins, crabs, worms.
Bitten on foot or flipper, their nemeses directly fold.
Saltwater taffy’s nothing relative to feathers. Tourists,
Who claim candy over T-shirts, delight in the flight
Of those petty thieves. Aimless sky lingerers’ luck,
Unlike that of nannies perched in old cafes, ignoring
Young charges, if had not been for televised specials,
Would bring hoards seeking free crackers, ice cubes.

 

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