the one at the corner table
with a steady drip, drip, drip
of the rain gutter run off on the vinyl table
which splashes against his wristwatch,
even I can see the water drops
on his wristwatch
even I, from my middle table,
my table
safe
under the wide awning,
safe from the refuse of rain
that pads the streets with puddles
that collects in the gutters along Lorne Street
and drips,
drip, drip,
upon the vinyl table
at which that man sits.

That man, there
with hair slicked back
slicked so to show
a grey rimmed grimace
tucking lips into cheeks
holding up downcast glasses
which otherwise
slink
down his lowered brow–
but for all that, manage
to cling, limp,
to the tilt of his frown.

That man, there
is the only man here—
I, female
and us, the only ones
to seat ourselves in damp air
gusts of midmorning rain
at the corner cafe on Lorne Street.

For my part,
my jeans are wet and my toes
pruny
after a lengthy bike ride in shower sheets
to this cafe
on Lorne Street.
An inside table would not be happy
to host me.

But that man, there
with his tucked in frown
and varnish gaze
leather briefcase at his heels
splattered, like his wrist watch,
in the rain gutter run off.

What’s his part?


The reader brings his or her own experience to the poem and creates meaning. Here is my mine:

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