Gluttony

Saturday Morning at the River Run
by Susan Thomas

They’re all here.
Everyone and everything
you want and don’t want
to see: neighbors, enemies, drunks,
farmers, lawyers, toast,
scrambled eggs and coffee,
the plumber who ruined
our lives for a year, and
used up all our savings.
Who you’re with is noted
blueberry apple pancakes
and who you’re not with, too.
Last night’s ad hoc couples
shuffle in half-dazed,
not sure of anything,
fresh fruit and yogurt
sprinkled with granola
some shy, some gloating.
I watch the tables,
casing the early bird scene
looking for an extra seat,
jalapeño beancakes
or someone who owes us a favor.
Lucky break! A scandal
distracts us from starvation.
country ham and gravy
The gorgeous boy
a friend once dreamed
she poked the eyes out of,
saunters in the door with
the girlfriend of his brother.
Everyone turns to look and
poached eggs with hollandaise
our place on line is noticed

by a woman who borrowed
my favorite book and never
gave it back. She waves us over,
eggs with grits and cheese sauce
enough cholesterol to share
catfish, homefries, bacon
with half a dozen people.
We dig in at once, letting
bygones wipe the plate clean
biscuits, sausage gravy
and she’s with a new boyfriend,
sourdough French toast
not the father of the baby
she gave birth to last year,
vegetable fritatta with
a side of green tomatoes
or the husband she had
when I lent her the book,
cornbread with peppers
crawfish etouffé
or her lover on the side
whose collection of Kafka
she kept when he dumped her.
Oh yes, she says, so kind of me
Andouille sausage omelette
to let her have the book.
It’s currently out of print
catfish jambalaya
and she passes me the bacon,
offers to lend it back as I
pass her the toast, absolve
her of all past sins, absolve
us all of everything in
this state of blessed gluttony.

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