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The farm wife eats out at Marner’s Six Mile Café

Widowed farmers cram the table
near the peanut butter pies,

but I prefer the back booth
beneath a pike framed with flowers.

Under a coffee cup’s “Start your day
with Jesus,” I find Topeka Seed & Stove.

Once, when it was crowded,
we ate in the kitchen where an Amish

cook beats batter while flipping eggs
and watching toast. Annie doesn’t bring

us menus. She knows the girls and I
will order pancakes with cinnamon butter

faces. When my sisters visit, they say,
“Let’s go someplace with atmosphere.”

They mean a chain near the interstate
where they decorate with movie stars

and license plates, where the booths
are so tall, you can’t see your neighbors.