By Michael Lauchlan

When you stop at the usual place
you greet a waitress who’s been off
for a while. She looks older somehow.
You ask how it’s going, then
touch your glass and watch
the condensation stream away
from your fingerprints. She says
she had a stroke last month
while taking a breakfast order and
had to cut her hours. The insurance
screwed her and her old man’s
been drinking since the bastards
laid him off. She refills your coffee.
Donna’ll get your order, honey.
I can’t keep it straight.


Michael Lauchlan’s poems have appeared in many publications including New England Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, The North American Review, Ninth Letter, Natural Bridge,  Innisfree, Crab Creek, The Tower Journal, Nimrod, and The Cortland Review, and have been included in Abandon Automobile, from WSU Press and in A Mind Apart, from Oxford.  He has recently been awarded the Consequence Prize in Poetry.

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