the Old Woman

I’m having the special
eggs potatoes toast coffee

she comes in
old ragged smelly

I think, ‘Why you gotta come here
and ruin my breakfast’?

the waitress goes over, smiles,
“What’ll you have hun?”

the old woman mumbles something.
the waitress moves off to get it.

the waitress returns with the special.
“I have your money here, somewhere.”

she fumbles through her pockets.
I think, ‘Yeah sure, I bet you do.’

the waitress says, ‘Don’t worry ’bout it hun’.
the old woman says, ‘No, no, here it is’.

she pulls a few crumpled bills from somewhere.
“Please, keep the change.”

the waitress takes the cash and smiles.
“Thanks hun. Enjoy your breakfast.”

I pay the cashier and leave
with my calloused thoughts.

[These many years later,
she could easily be me.]