Ode to Kitchen Porters
by Luke Otley
Skidding slightly slop on the floor!
HOT PAN FIRE IN THE ALLY
Put um out put um out fireman
Cutlery dropping crockery climbing water running hot never stopping level rising suds popping filled with grease greasy pans black hunks of soapy pig congealed cheese and egg and vinegar stinging eyes and nostrils clinging basin hands hot branded red then
Metal on metal scrub a dub dub in the tub here’s a waiter more plates NO!
Every god damn hungry blighter in Africa must be eating their supper through that hall!
The laughter roaring o sweet mockery I’ll kill em, I’ll kill em, CLANG
FIRE IN THE ALLY
Stripe of sweat n muck from swiping flies hair out of eyes lids are tightly blinking blinded
Now here’s the head begins a-pounding no drinking chefs simply won’t allow it
Down down down down down gurgle and drain fingers digging gravely scrabbling fighting against swede and cabbage
Waiter comes in he says it’s done
The last of them are gone laughing on the street now can hear the smiles on the stairwell it’s deafening
Grab a drink kid
It wasn’t so bad after all