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“Dayton’s Sky Room, 1949,” by Phebe Hanson

September 20, 2010

Today’s poem is unaccountably assigned to the Oak Grill.

“Dayton’s Sky Room, 1949” is collected in Phebe Hanson’s book, Why Still Dance (Nodin Press, 2003).

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One Comment leave one →
  1. September 21, 2010 9:57 pm

    I loved waitressing!
    This poem brought back memories of working at the Golden Dragon Chinese Restaurant (Full Service/No Buffet ) The food was exceptional and made
    by the Chen brothers who struggled in America because of the restaurant business in general and because they knew very little English. The Chen brothers were intense in the kitchen working over hot woks and doing their best to keep customers happy and returning and to keep the restaurant
    open. One evening I was taking an order and a skinny brown roach zipped across the table. I was horrified, but in a predicament…
    I carried on and hoped the couple looking at menus were more concerned about the cost of a Pupu Platter than the tabletop action. They didn’t seem to notice the roach.
    I imagined grabbing a menu and smacking the roach dead on the table.
    I felt bad for the brothers who worked HARD and at the end of crazy busy Friday
    nights would take account of earnings and wring their hands and almost weep at the inevitable.
    After they counted money and settled in their minds, they changed gears, slowed down then
    served themselves seaweed soup or other non-menu items that were their favorite homey recipes. They ate, laughed and sighed and knew that change was coming.
    I didn’t tell them about the roach. They already knew.
    The restaurant closed and was never reopened.
    This comment was too long!
    This poem stirred up this and many waitressing memories!

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