Her uniform a black polyester mini-jumper over
a white woven blouse, the ruffled cuffs blotched
with tomato sauce night after night, bleached

and dry in time for her to cross the driveway
to work, to serve baked rigatoni while Hey Jude
played over and over, the customers singing  

Take a sad song and make it better.
Singing to soothe the anomie, eating to forget
the lust and the lost, those dropping in Viet Nam,  

dropping out of school, dropping their vows.  
Nah nah nah nah nananah   Fashioning a new life,  
she learned to balance three plates at a time  

one each on hip, forearm and open palm. 
A relief to tune out the turmoil, to serve the singing
regulars, wipe down the table for the next.    

Let it out and let it in, hey Jude, begin.