One of the only mainstays on Broadway
is Burger King,
where I get my morning coffee.
Somehow the manager, Tony,
always sneaks in the exact number
of days he has left until retirement.
Sometimes the weather is unbearably hot
or wickedly cold,
or his joints are achy or he just got
over a flu, or an employee
failed to show up for a shift
so he had to fill in for them or
a customer was rude or the district manager
is coming in or the corporation is
trying out a new healthy item
that no one wants to order,
but he still has to push
or they have to stay open
an hour later or they have to work
some corny catch phrase into each transaction.
But no matter what is going on,
Tony never fails to remind me
that he is one day closer
to not handing me my morning coffee.
Rebecca Schumejda is the author of Waiting at the Dead End Diner (Bottom Dog Press, 2014), Cadillac Men (NYQ Books, 2012), Falling Forward, a full-length collections of poems (sunnyoutside, 2009); The Map of Our Garden (verve bath, 2009); Dream Big Work Harder (sunnyoutside press 2006); The Tear Duct of the Storm (Green Bean Press, 2001). She lives in New York's Hudson Valley. www.rebeccaschumejda.com