pork chops at the Majorette

breakfast was served all day
at the Majorette.
patrons from the neighboring
residential hotel
would wander in off of
Oak Park Avenue
to  push runny eggs
around a plate with
a day-old coffee chaser,
but Doris always
ordered pork chops.
pork chops that would
move all day to next,
as the knives couldn’t
butter toast,
and her dentures snapped
at each grizzly bite.
but she loved ‘em-
or at least the time
it took to polish her plate.
neighbor to many
who lined up along the counter,
she’d wait for me in a booth-
our once a week luncheon date.
she’d have her hair washed and set
and wear the fur
she bought on her charg-a-plate
at Marshall Field’s.
she’d often repeat her past
to weave stories that
she no longer lived
in her one room corner
with the yellowing curtains
and iron bedstead.
I never counted the number
that the waitress filled my cup,
I’d always leave her twenty,
‘cause god knows that the
residents of the Berwyn Hotel
were the last of the nickel tip.
Doris would be there every morning
at five for oatmeal and juice.
and if I wasn’t coming,
she’d have softer fair to chew
at noon. at the Majorette.

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