By the pink and green mints I pay the check—
one dollar bill, three quarters and a dime, two pennies,
always a little grimy, never a question asked.
It’s the same every day in the Keepsake Diner,
late breakfast pause after digging another hole by the side
of the road in the wild dirt always more than three feet down
but always less than six. We clear by hand all the caked on dirt
from the wounded clay to fix another cracked or broken pipe
down below where the water flows underground.
Eddie mixes a little concrete slurry, his hands
his only trowels flawless every time, making something
extra between his planting and his harvest.
We fill the soil back in, tamp it down,
toss on a little straw, a little seed, all to keep
the world from turning to mud for one more day,
to keep the water flowing to the lips
of sinners and saints. Then the coffee, the eggs,
the home fries and buttered toast
always the same perfection and every Thursday, broke.
Mary at the register smiles, takes a sip
at her mug of tea, says tomorrow is another day.
Don Pomerantz lives in New York City and Peekskill, NY where he is a retired software developer and educator. His poems have appeared in Washington Square, Consequence, Tar River, Eclectica, Conium Review, Kestrel, SAND and many other journals. His poetry collection, “The Moose of Felicity” is forthcoming.