The Dish Café

by Carolin Messier


Long-haired waitresses with ponytails
serve plate-sized hash browns
and bottomless cups of coffee
to dinette sets of friends
and single men,
their elbows on the counter,
as they check their phones
or flirt to incite a friendly smile.

Undecided between the merits
of sweet and savory,
I order my usual
but choose bacon over sausage,
at the waitress’ recommendation,
as the salty counterpoint
to the syrup-soaked pancake
as big as my head
and the perfect over-medium eggs.

Generosity on a plate
feeds more than the belly.
These angels of the morning
take care of the hungry,
un-caffeinated, and sleep-deprived.
After estimating the tip
I round it up a couple of bucks
and start my day
fueled by the comfort
of the last bite of bacon
and a warm goodbye.