Poetry- Kieran Egan

Cultural Confusions

A deserted diner off the highway;
watched by the dark-haired, heavy waitress
I ate alone and uncomfortable.
Something wrong with her right eye
so craning round to see me better with the left.
Her Wyoming vowels offered pie Alamo-ed,
or so it sounded to my English ear.
After we sorted that out
she returned to lean and watch.
The coffee I ordered she placed down hard,
bending over me to ask, “Do you scream?”
Somewhere behind my ears splayed images
of weary torturers in Russian...

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