The waiter turns the cup around,
a habit, bred from suspicion
that somewhere, someone else
was watching, waiting

He waits, he smiles,
anticipates, but never sees it coming,
someone has it in for him
but he prefers to leave them wanting

Desire, he feels, from memory,
and previous experience,
leaves nothing but an empty space,
a sensation, bitter tasting

He savours all encounters,
with hope and trepidation,
that service and delivery
are met with appreciative generosity

Grateful for the chance to work,
to pay his rent and life’s expenses,
so he can serve his other needs
recording all his observations

Of people and their foibles
jealousies, hates, vindictive squabbles,
joking through the pain of daily troubles;
some take delight from the agony of others

So one man’s pain
becomes another’s pleasure,
only see him to fulfil his function,
blind to him standing at the junction

Where he’s between two lives
and neither meet, nor look him in the eyes
his existence means as much to them
as a beggar in the street

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