The Victory Cafe

Forty minutes before the bus from Omaha rolls up,

At five oh five AM, I crack the first egg,

On the grill at the Victory Cafe,

The owner, Gracie, she’s owned the place since 1943,

She stares at me from the register – a freshly lit Bel Air in her lips,

But I am responsible and I know my eggs.

“It’s Kool inside” says the sign on the front door,

Two farmers walk in, in tin cloth coats and four buckle boots,

They order the morning special and talk about oats,

They talk about the price of hay.

They smoke Camel cigarettes and they order up…

Three more eggs hit the grill – and half a slab of bacon.

I light a king sized Viceroy.

A trucker from Missouri takes his place at the counter,

He’s fresh off an all night run to the River, and he wants coffee,

He orders a tinfoil pack of No Doze and tells Rita the waitress,

That he makes two hundred fifteen dollars a week,

And if she ever wants to leave her old man – that silent pacer,

The usher at the Antioch Baptist Church, and run away,

To Saint Joe, where she could have such a fine life raising babies,

And raising hell in the shadow of the Missouri River,

That she should say so.

Not to beat around the bush.

But Rita is quiet and she’s a shy girl,

She hasn’t the need for the Missouri River wild life.

She is quite fine at the Antioch Baptist Church.