Two Old Men Meet Over Coffee - Poem by Bill Galvin
Southern politeness reigns supreme.
Everyone greets travelers so nicely,
And apologizes for nearly anything.
This hotel has a smallish separate breakfast area
To select your food and take it to a lobby table.
It has the usual free premade proteins;
Baked goods; cereals; juices; cut fruit; yoghurts…
But, no coffee. No coffee?
I look and look again; this room’s only 14x14;
I know it’s here; carefully, I examine each item
From the middle of the room, slowly turning.
I know I’m getting old and things escape me now;
Not as sharp as I used to be.
There’s the attendant in the pantry.
“Excuse me, I’m still sleepy I guess… but,
Where’s the coffee? ” “Oh, that’s all right, Honey.
It’s right out there in the lobby on a long table.
Everything you need.” “Thanks so much.”
“You have a good day.” “I will now, thank you.”
She smiles, glad she can help.
I step around the corner and easily locate the table;
The one I walked by.
An older gentleman is making coffee
For his wife and himself.
I walk up behind; place my plate at the end of the table,
Giving him all the room he needs;
He’s spread out his cups, using most of the space,
Going back and forth for cream, sugar, stirrer, lid.
Without looking up, he says,
With a southern accent,
“I’m sorry, Sir, I’m a little slow today. Still sleepy,
I guess. I’ll be out of your way in a minute.”
“Don’t worry.” I reply,
“I just spent an hour looking for this coffee.”
Two old men part chuckling to themselves.
3-21-2015, Scott, Louisiana
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