Cafe

Alice Mason Artist

A cafe
First since March
Coffee too strong
Unused to barista strength
These days
Wind howling
Summer seems gone
Friend arrives late
And masked

Avoiding the eye
Of the loudest man in the room
He corners me
I make my excuses
Escape to female conversation
Stilted and awkward
We disagree
On most things
I gently attune to the differences

I escape to Jo’s shop
We chat and spill forth
Our agreements on most things
True friends
I tell her about dancing on the pier
With Theresa
Wine bottle in hand
Glugging like winos
The sea beneath us
Last of the summer sun

I walk to Sarah’s
Wind howling
Scarf wrapped around my hair
like a hijab
She regales me with conspiracy
I disagree with her
Without saying a word
Wind is howling through the cracks
Of her seafront flat
Slate grey rough seas

I make my excuses and run
To…

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