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A Rainy Day at Newman's Grounds

October 16, 2019

The raindrops dribble down the shopfront panes
while back behind the counter the barista drips
her own creation in handled earthenware cups.
He's always liked the tables here, the way
they're cut with thick pine tops and sturdy legs
two inches thick, like they were made to last
for longer than a coffee's caffeine buzz,
and sipping his drink he greets the grainy dregs
with sifting teeth, the neural background beat
of study music pulsing in his ears.
She used to sit here with him before the year
when all went wrong and he had found she'd met
someone else she'd rather sit, and lie,
with more than him, but he had kept on coming
after his night-shift out of habit, drumming
his fingers on the counter and perfecting the lie
that she was busy with work. But now he'd get
his coffee black.

The rain was unexpected,
but so was her leaving him, and though he'd suspected
her discontent he never though it'd hit
the fan the way it had, but then again
he also never thought his hair would grey
or his eyes would cloud, or that there'd come a day
when he was sixty-four without a ring,
so what's some rain.

Confident that it's able
to hold his weight, he rests his wrinkled elbows
on the tabletop, and staring outside he knows
now why he's always loved these pine-top tables.

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