“Big Bill’s Burger” by Tim Dyson

Halfway home, near the little town of Franklin
we were hungry and cautious. You never know
what really goes into that basic slab
of meat and gristle. If you saw the barn,
you would not stop. But in this darkening snow,
growling stomach, time for some slop

Right where 322 east turned left and 6 heads
down to the Allegheny, Big Bill's Burger
marks the fine edge of the wrong
side of town reserved for wanderers. Where
you fellas headed? For coffee, burgers
and fries, I replied to the tattooed beauty
who nicely never responded
out of some sullen sense of duty.

Do you want onions, raw or sauteed? Wait,
I'll get your java. You try to decide.
Her ass was tighter than the greasy john
and the cream curdled and cuddled
beside pictures of her spawn.
Raw onions, it is and American cheese,
back in a minute, the Daily Record's
there if you fancy a read.

Who knew there was a harvest dance
down at the West End Elks? Where else
can you find this town's soul? Here,
enjoy, let me know if your coffee
goes cold or you want something else.
We ate quick and quiet, trying hard
to keep our eyes on the door. We left
our money next to a chipped
monogrammed plate, wondering
who could want more.