Ambulance


 Halvard Johnson

"This restaurant has a fine ambulance."

 

What my friend, of course, must have

meant was that this restoration

had a fine ambience, but some of

his words in the rain came unstruck from time to thyme,

as patents from one ward sometimes wonder into an udder,

where they almost flit in, though

God knows no one knows their names,

where their faces seem almost familiar

until looked at closely.

 

What he meant, of course, was

that this restaurant was a peasant

and comfortable place in which

to take nourishment, although, as we

all know, you can't eat the ambulatory,

no matter how tastefully

anointed the restaurant might be,

the waiters stalking their boarders,

the divers their diners. What he

meant, clear enough to all concerned, but

crouched in terms that brought

smiles to the corners of our months,

smiles that we hoped escaped his notice

as we

 

awaited the treasure of his next tern

of praise, his tongue liable to slope on

whatever bandana spiel happened to be lying

around, cast aside by some harried

waiter, crabbing a bit on his way to a table,

his retention pan shortened by inches if not feet,

scurrying the wronged metal to the rite

table in the wrong restaurant.