Coffee Queue


The “drive thru” lane of the coffee house
was perhaps not aptly named,
as “driving” implies movement,
not this line with mere glacial gain.

Sitting in my car that morn
I awaited my morning brew,
my patience growing thinner as
my caffeine headache grew.

Exhaust fumes drifted through the air
adding fuel to the fire,
igniting the glowing embers of
my ever growing ire.

When at last the car in front of mine
to the cashier’s window drew,
the driver seemed unprepared to pay
and so my frustration grew.

After all this time she had to wait
you’d think she’d manage to
have her payment at the ready
since she knew what amount was due.

Instead of moving through the line,
a discussion soon ensued.
What the hell was there to talk about?
Pay your money and move on through.

“Two dollars? Yes, we can do that.”
I heard the cashier say.
Oh great, I thought, and rolled my eyes.
Seems I’ll be stuck here all day.

At last the driver pulled away.
I moved up to take her place,
my money at the ready
so as not to slow the pace.

“The customer just in front of you
asked if she could pay
two dollars toward your drink order.
I guess it’s your lucky day.”

The anger that I’d fed upon,
self-righteous indignity,
was more poisonous than the exhaust fumes
and more damaging to me.

The lesson that I learned that day:
more patient I must be.
It was more than just a cheaper drink
that the driver gave to me.

The next time I get stuck like that,
I won’t begrudge the time.
I’ll just pay two dollars extra for
the next car in the line.

WordPress Writing 201, Assignment Six. Prompt: neighborhood. Form: ballad. Device: assonance.

About Maggie C

Stained glass artist, writer, respecter of life.
This entry was posted in humanity, poetry, Writing 201 and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Coffee Queue

  1. Your rhythm was spot-on. The rhyming added cadence to the story without ever being forced. Excellent ballad. It tells a modern-day story with a surprisingly positive ending. Love it!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Misky says:

    I was hooked at ‘glacial gain’. Nice alliteration!


  3. Somehow it reminds me of a Michael Douglas film Falling Down

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Cathy W says:

    I felt the frustration building, and the realization at the end. Great job showing feeling! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Kathy says:

    This is great and I can so relate to what you were writing. We end up in drive-thru lines all the time and I get so frustrated as we creep along. Loved your ending.

    Liked by 1 person

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