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Halvard Johnson

     “This restaurant has a fine ambulance.” 

What my friend, of course, must have  
meant was that this restoration  
had a fine ambience, but some of  
his words in the rain came unstruck from time to thyme,  as patents from one ward sometimes wonder into an udder,  where they almost flit in, though  
God knows no one knows their names,  
where their faces seem almost familiar  
until looked at closely.  

What he meant, of course, was  
that this restaurant was a peasant  
and comfortable place in which  
to take nourishment, although, as we  
all know, you can’t eat the ambulatory,  
no matter how tastefully  
anointed the restaurant might be,  
the waiters stalking their boarders,  
the divers their diners. What he  
meant, clear enough to all concerned, but  
crouched in terms that brought  
smiles to the corners of our months,  
smiles that we hoped escaped his notice  
as we  

awaited the treasure of his next tern  
of praise, his tongue liable to slope on  
whatever bandana spiel happened to be lying 
around, cast aside by some harried  
waiter, crabbing a bit on his way to a table,  his retention pan shortened by inches if not feet,  scurrying the wronged metal to the rite  table in the wrong restaurant.