Sweep away salt and pepper shakers
squirt squirt squirt cleaning fluid
bend at the waist wipe big cherry-smelling circles
table-top. Swing drag the sturdy chairs
across the tiles get their feet tucked up under
the tables neat and square and they are
two quick speedboats these women
skimming through the course
never crossing paths but
within hailing distance all the time
close enough to back and forth
so she who is what did you say then
I don’t know how she why or not
across the sea of tables
in the empty after-hours café
2 thoughts on “Crew”
There is definitely a fascinating rhythm to the process by which staff cleanup and reset tables ready for the next guests. I admit I sometimes judge the efficiency or inefficiency of some processes but most of the time it is as you describe and everything is fluid and glides along.
There is a real pleasure in watching people do something they are good at, in every kind of work, I think. Having worked in a cafeteria in college I had a lot of hours of cleaning tables under my belt and I still think about how we used to work as a team to get the place done after each meal.
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