Back on the Road

Pointed north tomorrow morning. Starting early. Now confessing another vice: Waffle House.

 

Look for me in one somewhere along I-95, if you’re in the vicinity. Join me for weak coffee and a pecan waffle. Sit down next to the 65-year-old man at the counter of this Waffle House near Petersburg, Virginia, a regular maintaining a running, lively conversation with the 20-year-old fry cook across the divides of age and race, touching on more topics than you might guess. Speak to the family of three near whom I once dined: daddy, mommy, and infant, all of them camo-clothed from the tippy-tops of their heads to their booted and bootied feet. Just for a while, revel in being someone’s “honey,” someone who will take your order and then bark it out to the cook as if your very life depended on it.

 

IMG_0562

 

Double Vision

By Wilmer Mills

 

At Waffle House, they fired her on the spot:
“You talk too much!”
She’d told her customers
That “made” gets “mad” and “poet” goes to “pot”
Without the letter e. The “amateurs,”
She’d said, “inherit everything: the sand,
The stars, the world that only God possesses.”

 

While washing dishes with a bleeding hand,
She’d told them, “through ‘possession’s’ double ‘esses’
There’s a line that cleaves; things come apart;
‘Refrain’ means both ‘hold back’ and ‘go again’;
Things join in wholes of which they are a part.”

 

She “touched” the people. Was it such a sin?
Her broken pencil left a double line
On my tab, both legible as one design.

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