In a Chain Store Cafeteria

Year: 1940

by Paul L Grano   


This is where the People take tea-
salmon rissoles, two, and chips for sevenpence,
meat pie, potato mash, a penny less-
this is where the People take tea.
Fat clenk of cheap china clashing,
clap of metal tray and rattlecade of cutlery,
and chatter…… much chatter.
This is a secret place where all is hidden
save the appetite that sevenpence assuages.
Here may we sit and plot a murder,
or write a poem, and none be wiser,
screened as we are by walls of clatter,
or merely talk of weather, or the bargains
we have purchased at the finger-tempting counters.
'Such a bargain, dear! Elastic step-ins, one and threepence….'
'Yes, dear, I always come to town to do my shopping….
'You know, dear, those suburban shops…. It's such a saving…..
'But Mr. Morgan of our corner grocery….'
This is where the People take tea,
with buttered crumpets two for sixpence,
and dine upon the body of old Morgan,
of Mr. Morgan of the local corner grocery,
'The Beehive, established 1890'
who yesterday gave up a ghost and filed his schedule.
Yes, this is where the People take tea.

                                                      Paul L Grano