Coffee Shop Table

Scratched by

Students
Grandparents
Babies
Siblings
Lovers
Silverware
Coins
Coffee cups and plates
Books
Papers
Pens
Arguments
Decisions
Creating
Erasing
Sharing
Spills
Musings

Used by those

Wise
Wicked
Innocent
Deluded
Ignorant
Mad
Rushed
Focused

Works with

Smiles
A soft word
Can I take your order?
More coffee?
Here is your check
A hand over the loose change

Existing for another

Shift
Day
Year
Lifetime
Commercial lease
Refurbishment

Cleaned and cleaned again
Old wood pattern
Medium tan
Off white
Reflections of the ceiling lights on the scratches
Lines and curves
Heads tilt one way then another to see the next story
Shiny pictures of experience
Different wrinkles of age
More tales of years past
Another song from the road
A bard for dining patrons

Closing time
The owner presses the switch
Looks around
Sighs
Walks outside
Locks up
No more stories until morning’s light
Quiet
Late night waiting for the first rush of the day

Coffee shop table

We are its props in the play of life

8 thoughts on “Coffee Shop Table

    • Thanks for your input. I went from a timeless descriptive mode to a more narrative mode where time moves forward, ending with the events of the shop closing. I guess I was aiming for the passage of time to illustrate the play of life. It did lose punch, but I think I got what I was looking for when I wrote it.

      As I was writing it, I expected the person sitting across from me at the table to show up in the poem, but she never did. It surprised me that the poem ended up being front and center about the table. I guess sometimes you never know how a poem will turn out.

    • Oddly, I was not in a coffee shop when I wrote it. But yes – how many coffee shop, diner and restaurant tables have a particular poetry notebook scratched during its years? Glad you enjoyed the poem.

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