The Night Shift

In the 24-hour diner that
decays on the corner of Ridge and Bloor

and keeps 12 frozen bags of onion soup,
where I work four dead night-shifts, an aging

man parks himself in my section and asks
again if I have got a boyfriend and

I serve him

bottomless and endless hopeless decaf
while he sits and looks up at me until

one night I ask him why he wears his gold
ring and he says that she left him 12 years

ago and took all of their kids for some
richer bastard in Oakville which he thought

was fucked up,

look, he had fed them, clothed them, never hit
them, but she had pleaded that she felt no

love, love, who gives a damn, you stay when you’re
married, you don’t get space from vows, women

for Christ’s sake, you’ll know better, your boyfriend,
you’ll know, you’re on my side, sweetie, when do

you work next?

Sheila Mulrooney


Sheila Mulrooney currently lives in Toronto, Ontario, where she works as a freelance writer while completing her Master’s in medieval literature. Her poetry and fiction can be found in various literary journals (most recently, Typishly).

© 2018