One day these timber walls will burn
and I will proudly say,
“I will no longer sit alone
inside this sad cafe”

For I have seen a head or two
bent down on those tables,
I have seen those sullen lips
drink up all their fables

What has called me to this place
where plates are empty of cheer,
And the rumors turn round and round
changing every year

With every season burning slow
like a ripe old man’s cigar,
Set in a twisted movie script
where everyone is the star

And one creeps up to center stage
to announce their well-earned wounds,
While the rest bang the tables
with empty silver spoons

As the waitress wears a smile
an experienced cover for gloom,
Announcing the daily specials
while she scurries around the room

If I had a match I’d do it myself
for this place should soon be gone,
Then the cobwebbed corners will fall
and the regulars will move on.

~Heather Lenz

this poem first appeared in Poetic Hours

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