I was sitting by the window 

of a cafe near the harbour

when I heard an old curmudgeon

with a cane walk through the door

He was stilted – he looked tired

as he uttered to a woman

with eternal youth – (desirous) –

in a sundress and high heels

They sat – he kept on talking

in a whisper (he looked livid)

then she took her shoes off  

and lit a cigarette

They both ignored the waiter –

he’d walked over to inquire

as the man reached for his wallet

and threw a note up in the air

Suddenly I saw a woman,

holding an umbrella –

she opened it and closed it

many times

This caught my attention as the day

outside was stifling and rainclouds –

though forecast – had been beaten

by the sun

Take my umbrella would you;

she demanded of the waiter

all the while on her phone

speaking in a high-pitched voice

But you must; she said, I urge you

there’s no way to get around it…

hmm – coffee, flat white, with two sugars;

she brushed him aside like stone

In the corner of the cafe

was a couple (well, I thought so)

a man wearing glasses

and a woman with red hair

He held the daily paper firmly

his face hidden in its pages

she – indelibly entrenched

with a book up to her nose

Imagine them at home

across the table shared

at breakfast – what terms

of endearment (if any)

may be heard

I looked out the window

was I alone in seeing the sunshine

dancing on the water like a statue

basked in summer’s lone parade

What occupied the minds of others –

ignoring what’s before them –

suffering in silence

as vitality was lost

What stories one creates from

strangers – in cafes and

in restaurants – people I had

never met who kept me entertained

One’s thoughts and one’s imaginings

take on a life all of their own

and build a make-believe one

from the ground

I started strolling slowly

to the counter where I paid –

and glanced at the young man

who had served me – he looked

supremely free

Did he share my interest

in the people at their table(s) –

travails and emotions –

familiar animation

To never know but wonder

is the joy of observation.

3 thoughts on “observation

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