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Coffee House Cat 

(Written May 2006, at Finnish Country Sauna and Tubs)

Cat on a table,
still,
amid the cups and the clatter.
Scratchy Blues music,
spins out
from the corner.
Music that makes one think
of heavy-heeled shoes,
dusty streets,
and low-brimmed hats.

Customers come and go,
clutching their coffee-cups
against the cold wind tearing
through the tops
of the grass-grown roof.
Tree branches dance outside the window,
light darting in between.

The latch on the heavy wooden door
lifts
and slams.
Cheerful voices,
large hugs,
the greetings of old friends.

Eucalyptus oil,
poured into the hand-hewn bowls,
scrubs the burnt weight of coffee from the air.
A burst of gravel from the espresso machine
causes every conversation to rise.

And through it all,
the cat is still...
Lining his paws up
against the worn wood edge.

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Peri Escarda

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