artwork: ralph murre
Lunch in the
Hudson Bay Cafeteria
by Don Schaeffer
Built at a time when air was cheap
it has more space than it needs.
Solemn echoes surround the flags and
matrons dressed in white
employed to cook and mother.
A large symbolic paddle wheel
clatters comically on its ancient motor
beside a pale antique diorama of the river.
We bring trays
of veal and trifle.
The ceiling is a formalized caprice
like a stage set in animated fantasy,
with ceremonious lamps somehow made friendly
laughing to themselves as they sprout
from roots in the broken clouds.
~ first published in Lily Literary Review (2006)