Two hundred yen


On Friday night we had dinner
at our little Italian place,
the restaurant where everyone knows us.

We saw some students
on a date
so we slid quickly into our booth
keeping a low teacher-profile.

Stealthy. Like spies.

In Japan, it is common
to pay at the front counter
even in lovely restaurants
so despite our sneakiness
we found ourselves
behind those students
in line to pay.

The boy reached for his wallet
and handed some bills to the cashier.
Then he patted his pockets.

“Oh no. He doesn’t have enough money.”

“How do you know?” said Damien.

“I just know.”

The cashier looked at the wall
while the boy turned his pockets
inside out and the girl
opened her wallet.

“Can we help?,” we asked.

On Monday the girl brought me
perfect plastic bag
with two 100 Yen coins.
Two dollars.

“Thank you so much.”

That girl is going to love me forever.

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