Ellen Sazzman

Max and Frieda’s Guide to Fine Dining for Sexagenerians

Never order the beef flanken at Corky’s, I told you, Max.
Yeah, the meat’s too fatty, I should send it back.
Max, you said that last time you ordered it.
You should talk, eating eggs again – with your cholesterol.
I hardly ever eat eggs, Max.
You ordered the corned beef omelette last week.
Put down the salt.
Max, I’m not the one who just had bypass surgery.
That was nine months ago already. Look at you,
eating another roll – with real butter?
Look at you – you’re looking pretty good, Max, after all these years.
Please, ask the waitress for fresh pickles and pumpernickel.
You ask for more coffee. I’ll have a zip
with my cheesecake.
Cheesecake? You must be kidding, Max.
It’s got strawberries on top, you know
fruit – one of the healthy food groups.
Go ahead, Max, stuff your face. At least your second wife
won’t get all the money we don’t have.


Ellen Sazzman has been published in Moment, Calyx, Bridges, Poetica, and Common Ground. She was shortlisted for the 2018 O'Donoghue Poetry Prize, and awarded the 2016 Anna Rosenberg Poetry Competition from Poetica, the 2016 Moving Words poetry contest, and Northern Virginia Review's 2012 Poetry Prize. She is a mother, grandmother, and retired lawyer living in Potomac, MD.