Sam I Am Grows Tired

He thought he’d always love food. Evangelistic
for anything new. Ham and eggs in grassy shades
and then that brief stint selling sherbet in Ontario
before he moved to Napa to ride the wine wave.
At first the tips housed him in walking distance,
but now he busses in.

Waiting is hard on the legs. Table to table
metronome talk of gluten and where they source the dairy.
At home he eats simple salads with almonds and dried figs.
He keeps his vegan to himself.

Lately he’s been snarling. Not with malice
but some reflexive curl of lip every time he lifts heavy
or squints into the sun. Involuntary, yet not without pleasure.
To sense himself singing as a front man of some metal band,
or at least as Elvis.

When patrons ask what he recommends,
it’s all he can do not to shrug. It takes straight-faced discipline
to intone soups and specials. To realign his posture
after every pour. To affect a faint bow as he places dessert.

Micki Blenkush lives in St. Cloud, MN and works as a social worker. She is a 2015 recipient of an emerging artist grant awarded by the Central MN Arts Board, funded by the McKnight Foundation. Her writing has also appeared in: Naugatuk River Review, Sequestrum, Pacific Review, and elsewhere.

See another poem in issue 3.1