Joanna Lilley

Christmas dinner

Once a year the women and the men
at the Sally Ann get table service
and my waitressing days aren’t wasted.

A line of tinsel slips and a man
I thought was drug-mart drunk
leaves his dinner to fetch some tape.

Another man grins for a take-out
for buddy back at the hostel
who’s – yeah, right – in a wheelchair.

Other men eat space for seconds while
women watch the chocolates by the door
no one gets until they finish dinner

and leave but it’s thirty below outside.
I sneak a mini Snickers as I pass but
a woman’s eyes have got me by the throat.

I take the chocolates to her, cram
my mouth with chat and don’t move off
until she’s double-dipped.