He walks in, takes a seat,
eats his pie.
He smiles but doesn’t speak
until his farewell thanks.
He looks like someone off TV,
but they can’t agree on who.
Did you see how quick he ate it?
She shakes her head, disbelieving.
Nothing to drink, just pie
and free tomato sauce.
Not yet half-way,
a family squares off.
Soggy chips, nachos
missing a couple of ingredients.
Forbidden phones, the kids
play with their food.
An unhappier couple sits
at the next table.
The father sighs; the mother
brightens, and tunes in.
They closed the café
half an hour early.
The traffic had been quiet a while,
and the sausage rolls had gone.
Finding the door locked, he turns
and pans the street.
It’s the service station, then, packet of chips
and a chocolate bar.
He parks himself at the picnic table,
but the view doesn’t satisfy him.
Kerry Hines is a Wellington-based poet, writer and researcher. Her collection Young Country (poems with photographs by William Williams) was published by AUP in 2014.
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