Chips are welcome wherever you are
I escape the frozen street into, Het Tip Zak,
greeted by the smell of frying lard and laughter
wrapped in humid heat.
I join the ragged queue surveying
raw and processed meats
displayed under spotless fridged glass.
My turn is noted. Recognition–
a look over his glasses, unsmiling
but not unfriendly. I ask, a kleintje en a saté.
As he collects the skewered meat
ready for the boiling fat, I beg a flesje.
He hands me an opened bottle and offers
an open palm. I pay and take my place
against the wall to neck my prize, alongside
chatty waiting clients. I watch the heap
of par-fried chips reduce as another delicious
greasy gaggle is plunged into scalding fat
to fulfil awaiting orders.
She, Mevrouw, packs my frits, tossed free of fat
and points at the row of sauce dispensers.
I decline mayonnaise, andalouse, and curry
opting just for salt. My deep fried saté, sitting
in a cardboard coffin joins chips inside a paper tent
ready for the perforated carry-home bag.
Leaving with my score I head out into
cold sodium yellow with warm comfort
in my hand and walk home reflecting
how close this is to the chippies I left behind.
Just as warming and welcoming
except they sell beer instead of Cod.