The pie, my god Anthony, the cherry pie!
And pumpkin with the heavy cream a crown
sliming on top, and chicken wings and fries
and all the roadside pleasures you desire.
It’s been a nice car ride with you, curly friend,
up 86 and 20 and the snaky routes of WNY
until at last we reached this diner here
among the browns of late autumn in Chaffee
near the old Dodge-Chrysler lot where my father
rode away in dozens of red cars. Jim Shaw,
a good man, resting now, his shop kitty corner
to Earl’s fine corner booths and Coke floats
and did I mention the bounty of fresh-baked pies?
Good Lord! The flavor hangs unlike the slick silk
ties of businessmen but like a big belly
over the belt, the town worker awaiting
his pension by eating. God rest ye merry
gentlemen, dear Earl and Jim and all Jims and Earls
in the ground and on surgery lists
and counting down the days until retirement.
Your plaid tablecloths are my bible.