The diner glows fluorescent at 2 a.m.,
beckons boozers and truckers, runaways,
women between men.
Mary receives them
as her namesake received Gabriel,
pours coffee unbidden, tends
to coconut cream and lemon meringue,
eggs over easy, a malt for the guy
with stringy hair, jittery for a fix.
She saves her tips in a pickle jar
under the grill — enough, she hopes,
to post 50 bucks for her old man’s bail
First published in Kentucky Review
Photo: Diners, Delis & Dives
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