Nothing Nouveau Really


Dr. and Mrs. Barningham
In their twenties, stylishly dressed
Arrived at the club
Early, an hour before
The dining room opened
Fully expecting to be served.

A waiter, commandeered for the duty
From another part of the house
Rushed to meet their every need:
Liver and onions at 10 a.m.
(Medium please, not overly done)
A fruit cup and salad with that marvelous
(We really must have the recipe)
Coffee with cream, piping hot
And of course a basket of
Fresh, hot rolls (and keep them coming!)

The bottle-eyed Doctor sniggered as the Mrs.
Issued her various provisos and demands
More of this, not enough of that
And would you please and do you mind
The hapless waiter struggling to accommodate
According to the nature of his willingly open

When at last they left, in quite a hurry
Doggie bags ready with carry-out coffees
A day filled with urgent things to do
The waiter eagerly reached for his sure-to-be
—generous tip—
Peeking out from under the napkin:
Two bits and change.
An echo of laughter tripping up the sidewalk
As the honorable Doctor and his elegant Mrs.
Chit-chattered effervescently

(Previously published in Inkblots, Nov.2000; Dreamsbay, Dec.2001)

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