Thursday, September 10, 2015

Saturday's wait

"There is no money in doughnuts,"
the old man explains,

as the paddles turn the golden side up
out of the grease, on the way to the avalanche
of icing.

We are twenty people deep
in line, with another twenty behind us,
out the door, down the sidewalk.

"My son had a shop once."

He doesn't dwell on this,
just hits the highlights - of near bankruptcy,
housing their family and the benefits
of grandchildren.

He was in the Navy,
a far cry from the pink shorts his thin legs
poke from, the yellow golf shirt
& grey comb over - but not
quite. He loves his wife

but she doesn't do doughnuts.
These are for the grandkids -
"But if I get a few apple turnovers
they won't touch them,"

a guilty pleasure, afforded a gentler life.
A baker hooks hot doughnuts off the conveyor
into a box - rejecting a few

to make the last trip, off the end of the belt
into a large trash can.

"I wonder how many they waste that way,
each day."

"You'd think they could find someone
to eat them."

"I would."

"Or a soup kitchen."


A baker carries out a tray of fresh bear claws
to placate the ever growing mass of humanity
salivating in line, hopped up on sugar thick air  -

"No, I am fine."

"Oh come on. Hold up, my son here wants

Evidently, I have been adopted.

"You could use some more meat on those

"Can't we all?"

Maybe not. Maybe so.
For a lingering moment, he holds my arm
and that is alright --


  1. The baker seems to be hardly making the ends meet,but is not disheartened.

  2. No dough in doughnuts?... (sorry couldn't avoid the pun)... but this is such a scene, such clarity and hooks, the discarded ones should be for a soup kitchen, the living on the edge. Sometimes it's just about listening to make a friend.

  3. This actually brought tears to my eyes. It is so sweet, so human--(I don't mean to make a joke about the sweetness.) It is a vivid and real scene and you bring the connection all here. Really beautifully done, and just terribly poignant. k.

  4. Well, I work in a soup kitchen with my church once a month. I always work the desserts. A few bakeries bring extra donuts - filled ones, chocolate frosting melting away, crullers, etc. People passing through the lines were ecstatic, as they chose whichever donut they would like. And after everyone was served there were often extras for people to take home as well. Me? I am not tempted at all...just too sickeningly sweet for me. But..... Anyway, your poem rang true.

  5. "For a lingering moment, he holds my arm
    and that is alright"

    Beautiful closing. Excellent line breaks and layered meanings throughout.

  6. Wastage is a no-no. As for cakes, donuts, apple turnovers and bear claws, I'm not fussy, I love 'em all *grin*

  7. Well, you've always been the king of conversational poetry and I have no doubt that your prose factors in here. I like the way you intersperse the details, making this so very realistic. But I haven't had breakfast and now I want a bear claw!!!

  8. Through Navy through doughnuts through pinks shorts.. thin legs.. and yellow polo shorts.. the loving embrace of the human touch
    carries us through
    to the other
    side of
    smiles.. this is Bowling
    Alley life for me.. just
    casual conversations
    being human
    for decades fully
    with a tribe of
    or doughnut
    lovers same..
    with banquets of cultures
    intermixing sharing doughnuts
    of love as food.. at the end
    of each
    of Life..
    I miss those days..
    they were worth all
    the money
    in the world
    smiles and tears
    and fears for the rest
    of the world who never
    exist in Bowling
    life.. smiles..
    though still overall..
    as at least i can remember
    and share what Human Love
    used to be in giving flesh and blood
    where an
    arm is always
    given as human touch

    Sadly it would be too overstimulating
    for most people to meet me in real
    life i meet online as my
    human is
    where the
    Z.A. rains
    beyond humanity's
    breath of flesh and blood...
    But i am here to give the
    message that
    yes it
    still exists
    and nice to
    know you
    feel IT

  9. I so LOVE this glimpse of kind humanity! I would have to gather the discarded doughnuts for the soup kitchen, for sure. Sigh.

  10. How we approach waste in this world is sad, as the ocean fills up with plastic bags, & landfills become condos. My first wife's father had a doughnut shop. & excuse me, but he made a fine living (of course forcing the family too work in it). You really do sparkle when you create dialogue. This is another winner fresh off the X-Files.

  11. Such a delicate & beautiful closing on this one -
    Well penned!!

  12. Nice, I like the conversation and snapshot of the old man, baker & doughnuts ~ I feel guilty when food is just thrown away ~

  13. I know a couple of local bakeries that donate what doesn't sell to local kitchens. I think I read somewhere Panera does this as well. I can't see throwing food away when so many are hungry.

  14. Hmm.. i was really looking
    forward to seeing
    this excellent
    poem on the
    dVerse Poet's
    Pub site..

    Conversation is normally
    back and forth short lines..
    and usually it's more
    than 12 turns a piece..

  15. hey I'm all for sugar rush, in any forms it presents itself. I thought this was kind of sweet X

  16. were I adopted, I'd have donuts for blood. I think it was Lewis Black who recently quoted, it's said if you stop eating donuts you'll add 3 years to your life - 3 years that you wish you were eating donuts... ~

  17. That closing is really very moving.

    You know I don't have this experience. I have only been into a donuts shop a few times in my life in the wee hours when it has just opened to get some type of molten chocolate muffin they used to have but stopped selling. I miss those haha. Donuts are different in Sweden but I don't like donuts either way which is strange but true.


  18. a very cool snapshot of the moment... love the convo - how he tells you so much about his life.. the connection born from a random moment - and it def. would be cool if they would give the donuts to charity rather than just throwing them away...ugh

  19. Yes...a precious moment...captured in time.
    Aah...that final line is incredibly moving...well worth waiting in line for.
    Sad, really, to think of all those rejected donuts being simply thrown away...could always send them my way! lol ;)

    A brilliant write, "X"...I thoroughly enjoyed...:))

  20. ... reminds me of my friend Bob the Poet ... Always, cat.

  21. Another tale of the good side of humanity, I love the way your poetry is always finding these moments and turning them into stories that bring me hope.

  22. In your words these quotidian moments become gold nuggets. Thanks.

    Greetings from London.

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  24. Bwahahahahahah No aged sailor would wear pink shorts, unless he was in hiding. perhaps the entire line at the doughnut shop was in hiding--not from anything evil but from the truth that for some the only way they can find honest human connections is in a line of strangers. We don't have anymore bakeries in my neighborhood, or meat shops, or well just about any enterprise other than the dirty deals done dirt cheap--none the less the lines do form in puddles of sweat and furtive glances, I don't wait in those lines either for the baker is the reason there are soup kitchens that do not get fresh but over fried doughnuts.

  25. I know now that u will not return to my blog easily ... until coaks u ... dat okay ... n prob ... b well, eh? ove, cat.

  26. Human contact, that what life is all about... relationships. Pity to have to throw some in the trash though. Prob can't afford the petrol to take them to a homeless shelter?