The corner cushion seat is his
without being claimed or kept.
Only where he can usually be
found as expected more often
than not, working on his usual
six shots of espresso, straight.
He brings his office in with him,
phone and laptop and papers
placed for ready action to focus
on a memorandum, on research
and scheduled conference calls,
on the mathematics of what has
not yet happened yet will come
as driven as on a caffeine rush,
as relaxed as that familiar chair.
He can always be interrupted by
a regular’s customary rant heard
enough times to tell it for them,
by a stranger’s incidental crisis
he will never touch again after,
by a child’s dancing play, by any
need for that moment’s miracle.
Today it was the woman worried
for her husband’s planned surgery
how he might require yet another
amputation and she doesn’t know
how she’ll make it if she loses him
and she has been getting no sleep
but she wants the family vacation
afterward to be his most special
if only their children come through.
Tomorrow her husband of thirty odd
years faces his critical surgery, but
today she takes the hour to come
here for her usual morning tea, for
her usual time to herself, for these
words shared with one who cares.
We won’t see her back for a week
or maybe two while she’s at a hotel
down by the medical center to cry
her hopes through, to see her love
live and stand to walk on with her.
So when we see her next, our quiet
sir will pick up the tab on her tea and
inquire after her rest and her family’s
good fortune, then have that smile
of his when she lets him return to
his work, sipping at his espresso.