Ham and Eggs 
Roger Mitchell
From Moving

I have to say this to myself,
as though I might forget.
I have to think about it: I
want to be happy.
I say that to the snow at my feet
as I cross the parking lot: I only
want to be happy.
But I must open this door first
since what I also want
is a cup of coffee
and a piece of apple pie.
I put my poems down on the counter
and let them worry about themselves for a while.
And I think about someone my age
saying what I just said out loud
in the snow where no one can hear.
It seems too small a load
for all these years to bear.
Roger Mitchell wants to be happy.
I can hear one of the old waitresses
who has given up trying to be young anymore,
who wears her slacks loose and comfortable,
her hair chopped, and no make-up,
who jokes with young Gino over the counter
about his army physical,
who prayed for him,
who tells him to cough
and then coughs herself way down inside
laughing at her own joke,
who calls herself loudly over the shoulder
one of the dirty old women.
I can hear her hollering it back to the kitchen,
my terrible secret.
She yells it like the usual thing,
just like that.