Jacoby's Hole in the Wall Restaurant/Licensed Lounge/Post Office/General Store

     [Cadomin, Alberta]

I been up there once when my boy was about thirteen
and I don't see no earthly reason to ever go up there again
Doug tops up his coffee from the serve-yourself pot
fills my husband's chipped mug while he's up

the woman coming in the door points her chin at me
I see you're sitting in Agnes and Mabel's chairs
she wheezes, lowering her great bulk into a chair across the café
I don’t think they’d be too happy about that!
she hangs her cane on the wooden back, her mouth a wide
four-toothed cough of a laugh
Me and Jack’ll have the bacon and egg special, Chuck

Chuck slaps a chin-high plate of flapjacks in front of me
leans in close and whispers, Don’t pay Louise no attention
Agnes and Mabel aren't likely to give you a lot of grief for sittin in their chairs

What are we talking about, Doug?, Louise asks,
Where do you not ever want to go again?
I turn in my chair and find MABEL on blue label maker tape
covering part of the stencilled sixty-year-old letters that now read
MAB letters as worn as my mug as Louise herself
These folks here are talking about hiking up the Cardinal Divide
I told them not to bother
advice given, Doug settles into Walter's old chair with his Edmonton Sun
fifteen framed photos behind him hockey teams, women's basketball
1940s sticks and pads

the stack of pancakes is completely daunting
unable to settle into a dead woman's worn seat,
I take a few bites and wander into the store
through rows of ketchup, solder, live bait, hunting socks, Jack Daniels
Epitaph for a Spy on the used book rack
I finger the smoke-stained paperback
put two dollars in the Cadomin Homecoming collection box
I come back into the café face the mountain
of buttermilk and enriched flour

Louise shakes her head pushes her bacon around
That's just not a good place to go to, she tells her plate,
just not a good place
Too far up too far to go
Jack says, I never figured all the fuss about that hike anyway

my coffee is cold Doug doesn't get up
Chuck comes from the kitchen wiping his hands on the tea towel over his shoulder
fills my cup my husband turns to read Agnes' name on his chair back
Do you know if these two gals liked the hike?

Chuck leans a hand on my chair, the towel hangs from a fist on his hip
Those two were around in my grandpa's day
spinsters always hiking here or there
I was just a kid but I remember they'd come in for porridge,
'Rib Sticker' they called it, before they'd head up the Cardinal Divide
or up into them caves the toaster pops
he moves back into the kitchen, scrapes old margarine against crisp bread
Granddad would make them a bunch of sandwiches
they'd take a few bottles of beer out of that fridge and be gone all day

I take one more bite cover three uneaten pancakes with my napkin
Agnes and Mabel shove us out of their chairs
the store cooler is full of beer and three bottles of wine: Hochtaler,
Hochtaler, and Hochtaler
Chuck, would you make us a couple of sandwiches to go?
we buy a six-pack of Kokanee
Chuck puts a worn copy of The Light of Day on top of the beer
Noticed you picked Eric Ambler
I just finished this one Maybe you’ll like it too
our hiking boots squeak across the old hardwood
inside the book’s cover in shaky pencil: ‘Agnes H.”
the door chimes jangle behind us


Kimmy Beach will have the white.

Published On: February 14, 2008
Permanent Location: http://www.forgetmagazine.com/080214c.htm



Volume 4, Issue 11
february 14, 2008

Forget magazine's seventh birthday

#27 Broadway
by Jessica Antonio

the hotest summer in recorded history
by Elizabeth Bachinsky

by Craig Battle

Jacoby's Hole in the wall restaurant
by Kimmy Beach

unsent letter #31
by Sheri Benning

If I Were Your Dog
by Lorna Crozier

Where the Customary’s Always Right
by Jesse Ferguson

bleeding hearts
by Tracy Hamon

A Moth Story
by Gerald Hill

the only way to live
by Jeanette Lynes

by Dave Margoshes

by rob mclennan

dear emily
by Jay Okada

the exchange
by Brenda Schmidt

because it is green
by Darren Stewart

Fly on the Window
by Jennifer Still

Speaking, Over Her Left Shoulder And Toward His Reflection In The Mirror
by Nick Thran

Beautif: Orpheus after Eurydice
by Daniel Tysdal

love song:
thou alone

by Zachariah Wells

Feb 12, 2001 - Present

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6


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ISSN: 1710 193X

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