Miss Pelican's Perch

Looking at my World from a Different Place

The Diner: A Haibun*

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Half a dozen old men sit in a line along the counter, some watching the news on a tiny screen mounted over the stacks of styrofoam to-go containers. Others hunch over cups of coffee keeping silent company, each with himself. A young woman in a blue face mask wipes down the counter with a stained towel.

At a table three young men in paint-spattered shirts quietly converse in Spanish and finish up their bacon and eggs. At the back of the dining room, a toddler encased in a highchair flings to the floor chubby fistfuls of Cheerios. His father ignores him and shoves a forkful of syrup-soaked pancake into his mouth. The child’s mother, with dark circles under her eyes, sucks on a straw in a glass of soda and stares into nothingness.

The rest of the diner’s mismatched plastic white chairs and farm-styled faux oak tables are vacant.   Framed photos of vintage cars hang crookedly on dingy yellow walls intermixed with black and white signed photos of forgotten celebrities, a head shot of Ronald Reagan, a tattered newspaper restaurant review from 1994, and a broken neon Budweiser sign.

In the center of a wall is a poster of Helnwein’s Boulevard of Broken Dreams.

Unceasing top offs–
soggy newsprint spread across
chipped dark Formica

*A haibun is descriptive prose followed by a haiku tangentially related to the prose.

2021

2 thoughts on “The Diner: A Haibun*

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