At the Coffee Counter

From Unpredictable Hue, 2019.

At the Coffee Counter

Pulls apron
over her head. Blue
strings tangle
she tugs harder. Customers
waiting. Flustered she

jerks the hem
over her stomach
smooths wrinkles
checks pockets
lets out a held breath. Steps up
to the counter. Greets

number one. Coffee?
Coming up
right away. Pulls at apron.
Smooths wrinkles again.

(shadorma chain)

7 thoughts on “At the Coffee Counter

  1. I tend to be a person who hangs in the back, watching. Hoping no one notices me, but I enjoy being where I can be with people and see what they are doing. Thanks for what you said, lots of what I write is along the idea that I really want to be noting down a picture of a moment.

  2. Yes, it was a like a little film clip–maybe this one is a scene from a longer movie. 😏. I’m the person who hangs in the back, too.

  3. Oh I know that flustered feeling very well. In my undergraduate days, I worked night shifts constantly in order to fund my studies. One such evening job was in a supermarket and my shift started at 6pm. My last lecture of the day, three times a week, also ended at 6pm. I would hope that we wound up a few minutes early but I still had to attend lectures in my work uniform and then mad-dash sprint across several city blocks in order to reach my workplace. I would arrive at my checkout looking very crumpled and frazzled.

  4. I remember similar feelings as I worked in the cafeteria and had tight time tables with classes vs. the start of lunch, especially, and I can remember pulling on my hideous polyester blue plaid smock thing as I half ran to the dining room, from class (there was just no way I could wear that thing in public in my personal life, we all hated that uniform…very nice when they changed it a year later…)

  5. My uniform – that I had to wear to my late afternoon tutorials – was a shapeless salmon pink and grey dress that zipped up the front with an elastic belt to cinch it in plus tan tights and black sensible shoes. It was hideous.

  6. Eeek. That is awful. I feel lucky my outfit was only a smock and I could throw it on over my regular clothes, not having to wear it. A dress – well, you’re out of luck, no way to do that. Why uniforms are so often ugly, I do not know.

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