in the corner of the cafe

I was sitting In the corner

Of a cafe in the city

When I wondered whatsoever

Would become of all the people

With their chatter and their laughter

They threw heads back with delight

Except for this one man

With no hair and a beard

He stroked it maybe five times

Like he was mulling over

A thought – quite unaware

Of there being anyone nearby

He looked up to the ceiling

Like inspiration had flown in

Then down into his coffee

For a semblance of the truth

His fingers tapped the table

Patience present and awaiting

He took a sip from that coffee

And started over once again

Of all the people sitting

In the cafe that fine morning

It was this man – this man alone

On whom I’d fixed my concentration

He was forty – maybe more

His hands had entered middle-age

Well-dressed – yet casual and

Well looked-after I would say

And yet he seemed as lonely

As a babe in the woods

Soulful – a little sheepish

Amongst a crowd of inattention

He reminded me of a boy I’d known

In the playground he’d been gazing

Looking for a mate to share

A game designed for two

The chair across the table

It looked unloved and alone

Waiting for a someone

To come and keep it warm

The sun glistened through the windows

We were near the beach in summer

But a dark cloud was hanging over

The man with no hair and a beard

The chill wind of a winter

Was clouding all around him

He got up to put his jacket on –

His arms shivered as if cold

Would you like another;

Said the waiter reaching for his coffee

The man checked his watch and nodded

Very good; he smiled back

The man with no hair and a beard

Stood – then turned and left the cafe

His actions – they had meaning

But they made little sense to me

I stroked my beard and tapped the table

Thought-provokingly despairing

So I looked down to my coffee

For a semblance of the truth.

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