(written while sitting outside Starbucks in downtown Honolulu)
I’m watching this lady,
wrinkled and too thin,
with hair shorn to no maintenance,
wearing her hideous muumuu and dragging on a cigarette
She is quirky in her movements,
smiling at the little dog under the table next to her,
then glancing back up,
hoping for conversation.
[sporty, tanned and pony-tailed]
reads her novel, looks annoyed.
Maybe they don’t know about this
but she is really a truck stop waitress
asking in a gravel voice (with attitude)
if you want cream and sugar in your coffee,
[a sickly black potion in a thick, white mug, slightly chipped-
guaranteed to get you through to Memphis by morning]
And did you want the cherry, or the apple pie.
She wears a blue diner uniform,
a messy used-to-be-white apron,
a pen behind her left ear.
She’d most likely call you honey,
would call anyone honey,
if someone would just talk to her.
But around here,
[what is a truck stop?]
she doesn’t remind anyone of fresh baked pie,
greasy, down-home goodness.
She is just an elderly lady
[the Starbucks black sheep]
wrinkled and too thin who,
cigarette in hand,
just makes us wish she would stop smiling at our dogs.