The Greek Diner


Patrick Walsh

Originally published in The Evergreen Review Issue 123 in June, 2010.

Nothing beats water. Having said that,
a few crisp C-notes never hurt no one.

You know what? I take that back:
no doubt, hard times is a heavy load,

but the jackpot’s been the ruin of many a man.
Like those stories you hear about some poor schnook

winning the lottery. Year later and he’s got no family,
no friends, and he’s checking in to Betty Ford.

Or maybe he’s already checked out.
Be careful what you wish for; thing about luck,

it’s just cruel enough to grant what you want.
Still, what the Man Upstairs keeps from me

might land in your lap. How about that crap?
And don’t get too cocky, like some know-it-all,

life will turn your head quicker than shit – 
don’t forget: pride before a fall. Me, I can’t complain,

I got no gripes: three hot squares and a roof,
a wife and two kids out in Bayside,

maybe a little something on the side.
Get my drift? I guess the real lesson is this:

No one’s ever got it made
‘til they’re smiling in their grave.