Rush hour, and the short order cook lobs breakfast
sandwiches, silverfoil softballs, up and down the line.
We stand until someone says, Yes? The next person behind
breathes hungrily. The cashier's hands never stop. He shouts:
Where's my double double? We help. We eliminate all verbs.
The superfluous want, need, give they already know. Nothing's left
but stay or go, and a few things like bread. No one can stay long,
not even the stolid man in blue-hooded sweats, head down, eating,
his work boots powdered with cement dust like snow that never melts.
From The Dirt She Ate: Selected and New Poems by Minnie Bruce Pratt. Copyright © 2003 by Minnie Bruce Pratt. Used by permission of the University of Pittsburgh Press. All rights reserved.

Poems by This Author

At Deep Midnight by Minnie Bruce Pratt
It's at dinnertime the stories come, abruptly,
Red String by Minnie Bruce Pratt
At first she thought the lump in the road
The Blue Cup by Minnie Bruce Pratt
Through binoculars the spiral nebula was
The Great Migration by Minnie Bruce Pratt
The third question in Spanish class is: De donde eres tu?
The Subway Entrance by Minnie Bruce Pratt
He was her guide. He lived in hell. Every day he thought
Walking Back Up Depot Street by Minnie Bruce Pratt
In Hollywood, California (she'd been told) women travel

Further Reading

Poems about Breakfast
During Wind and Rain
by Thomas Hardy
by Aleš Šteger
Morning in the Burned House
by Margaret Atwood
On the Terrace
by Landis Everson
Poems about Eating
A Wicker Basket
by Robert Creeley
by Grace Schulman
Dead Horse
by Thomas Lux
Dream In Which I Meet Myself
by Lynn Emanuel
Eating The Bones
by Ellen Bass
Eating Together
by Li-Young Lee
by Aleš Šteger
Man Eating
by Jane Kenyon
The Book of the Dead Man (Food)
by Marvin Bell
To a Poor Old Woman
by William Carlos Williams
Woman on Twenty-Second Eating Berries
by Stanley Plumly