C#1

It is a meeting place, this coffee house of ours

The atmosphere is friendly and relaxed,

And it is popular with everyone.

Its tables and the chairs are a mixture of styles and ages:

Metal or wood or comfy arm chairs, and benches

They must have come from an auction!

There is a full bookcase half way up the stairs

There are newspapers in a rack

Some customers read while they drink their coffee

Near the stairs a flustered lady with a newspaper

And bags spread over four chairs

Is struggling to find something

A few students work on laptops

With their books spread around.

I sit at my usual table looking down

Through the wrought iron balustrade

Over the counter, its queue and some tables

My espresso is really good: strong and bitter

A lone lady with a man's cap and a canvas satchel over her shoulder

Seems to be looking for someone

But it is crowded: the queue looks as if it is two deep

But the outer column is only reading the blackboard menus

A hum of conversation drifts up

With the steamy coffee hiss

A sign says dogs are welcome on the mezzanine

But I've never seen one up here. Beside it

A worried man with a canvas strap over his shoulder

And its bag clutched in his lap

Has been writing on a pad in fine point pencil

Without pause since I sat down:

He has a rubber and makes a sudden, violent correction

A sharp crash as someone drops their walking stick on the stairs

Makes him look up and our eyes meet briefly

The girl eating soup beneath the Great Gatsby poster

Must be on a break -

She is normally behind the counter

And I see him glance in her direction again

A blond head with a cap rises into sight on the stairs

There is a tearing noise as he rips the page free

A glass tips

I leave

cafecoffeecoffee houseliaisonsmeetingswatching

◄ A Dark Night

Cathedrals of Words [1] ►

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