Restaurant Places by Rebecca Shivji


Silhouettes emerge
from the kitchen,
backlit by bar lights,
Waiters and Waitresses -
my melodious
piano-key clad

Like bottles of wine
reclining in the fridge,
our restaurant customers
chill refreshingly
as they settle into
their evening.

Aiming high,
my colleagues and I
repeat a prewritten script.
Table by table, we ensure that
the customers we encounter
feel special,
striking up conversations
but keeping them brief,
as if emulating a ribbon of smoke
from an recently extinguished candle.

In harmony, our team
present menus,
take food orders,
bring drinks,
bring meals,
and gift Parmesan shimmy’s
plus black pepper grinds.

Following the meal,
with expressions of gratitude,
the customers pay their bill
and leave;
feeling full
and fully restored.

In contrast, my arrival home
is empty.
Devoid of company
a taunting inner voice appears instead,
and I wonder
what it might be like
to have someone here
who would wait on me?

But, I immediately dismiss
this greedy desire to be served;
after all I’m a Waiter
and I know my place.