Late Night Shift by Beatriz F. Fernandez

Feeding Time by Jude McConkey
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Late Night Shift

Slouching over the sizzling grill
a towel tied around his lean hips
sweat gathers in the pouches
beneath his whiskey-shot blue eyes
toothpick clenched, Eastwood style,
cigarette tucked behind an ear—
he shifts his weight from foot to foot
in a slow one-linoleum square dance,
one hand snakes a spatula
under blobs of batter freckled with bubbles
while the other deals out
white ceramic plates one by one
in perfect orchestration.

His blank professional gaze
assesses the steam glazed kitchen clock—
when his next fifteen minute smoke break
comes up he’ll lean against the milk crates
and splintered flats, squint up at the few stars
through long silken curls of smoke
and strings of parking lot lights—
a master of pancakes
making his bows to dark applause.

Beatriz F. Fernandez

Beatriz F. Fernandez has read her poetry on WLRN, South Florida’s NPR news station, was the grand prize winner of the Second Annual Writer’s Digest poetry award and was featured in the Latina Book Club blog. Her poetry can be found at Label Me Latina/o, Boston Literary Magazine, Falling Star Magazine (2014 Pushcart Nomination), Northern Liberties Review, Spark: A Creative Anthology, Verse Wisconsin, and Writer’s Digest. Her first chapbook, Shining from a Different Firmament, is upcoming from Finishing Line Press. Contact her at or tweet @nebula61