Cafe at Mid-Afternoon

A bird in the sky
so far away
only the people seated
near the cafe can see it

Wind coming down
from the foothills
mixing clouds and blue sky
blowing the leaves of the trees
diagonally toward the ground

Writer in blue listening
to the couple behind him

Woman in black
and her dark lover
a bottle between them
but they do not drink

Waiter positioned centrally
waiting to be called on
watching the mother-to-be
interview a nanny

Woman with red hat
annoyed with woman
in red dress at next table
not hearing anything else

Woman in red dress
talking too loudly
leaning over too much
to make her point

Waiter’s feet ache
He hopes empty tables
remain that way

/ / /

This poem was written in response to two prompts from Margo Roby, one being the painting above and the second to write an imagistic poem.

10 thoughts on “Cafe at Mid-Afternoon

  1. This is fun, the way you used the imagistic form to describe the scene. I kept going back up and saying, Oh, yeh, I hadn’t noticed that person. I realise with a larger view I would see them 🙂

    The order of the stanzas is cool [you meant it to be, of course]. You start out in the clouds, then use the wind to bring us to ground level, draw closer and closer, set up the waiter, as part of the scene, and come back to him and how he feels about the scene around him, as a final stanza. Nice.



    • Margo, thank you so much. I would not have written this poem without your prompting – literally. And the imagistic form helped me to frame it. I appreciate your comments on the order of the stanzas; I did work on that.



  2. this is lovely, what you did. i love when images evoke this sort of thought and it’s almost like you were sitting in this cafe observing everything, too, a part of the painting yourself. x


    • Dana, thank you. I was originally going to write the poem as if I was one of the people in the painting; I guess some of that still carried through – perhaps not entirely accidentally.



  3. Yep…I still agree with what I said in email. You did a superb job of setting the entire scene…from title to closing lines. I read it the first time without the picture as a reference and yet I could see it all clearly. Excellent work, my friend!


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