• Midday Standard

    The metallic clang
    Of silver ladles
    Against stainless pots
    That have discolored
    With age.

    A protruding belly
    Over the waistband
    Of worn sweats
    The kind with the elastic.

    Once bright eyes
    Dulled to a blue
    Like faded jeans
    Are framed by lashes
    Thick with clumped mascara.

    A thin face is
    Skeletal and leathery
    With lipstick
    Like a cherry stain
    Across narrow lips.

    Hair the same grey
    As an angry ocean
    In a black plastic net.

    With sticky buns and
    Charred chili
    As once white sneakers dance
    Over worn tiled floors.

    Living large and loud
    In the 60s
    So that now
    Always tired and grumpy
    Smoked-out and

    Every morning
    Donning the same shabby
    The one with the
    Grease stains that will
    Never come out.

    She trudges to work
    And wraps the clear plastic
    Apron around her
    Ample hips.

    Hungry faces
    File past
    Filled with disappointment
    As the last hot dog
    Is clamed.