Lemon pie

Joe’s Diner

I’ve been watchin’ ‘em for months,
dis couple. They come in real regular,
every few nights. I find myself askin’ for shifts,
for nights when they come in because they’re so damn sweet.

Young love is rare, not like you’d tink I knew
anything about dat, a wiseass like me.
But it is. Some kids tink they’re in love, but real love?
Nah, they ain’t got it, it don’t last long enough with dem.

But dis couple. Yeah. It’s almost painful to watch ‘em.
But it’s a good ache, ya know?

She always orders pie. Pie and hot chocolate.
He gets coffee and shares the pie.
Dey sit across from each other, heads close,
talking about serious stuff no doubt.

But last night it was different. I was wipin’ down the counters,
keeping an eye on ‘em like I do. She was cryin’ and pulled somethin’
out of her pocket-book. It was one o’ dem sticks fer a pregnancy test, ya know?

He was stunned fer a minute, but then got this grin.
I thought, how great for dem, they got a baby on the way.

She stood, threw the stick down, didn’t even touch her pie.
The whipped cream on the cocoa was drippin’ down the mug.
She started walkin’ out, but he grabbed her arm. With God
as my witness, he was cryin’ too. See, real love does dat to ya.
She shook her head and left. Real sad.

He sat there for a long time, drinkin’ his coffee, starin’ at her pie.
Finally, I went over to him, asked if I could clean the table.
His eyes were bloodshot, and he just nodded. I told him not to worry,
he and his wife would make up sooner or later, just to be patient.

He just stared at me. They weren’t married, he said, well, they were,
he said, but not to each other.

Don’t dat beat all?


Written for Poetic Asides November Poem-a-Day Challenge – Prompt: write from the perspective of another.


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