Warm coffee 

There is an older gentleman who lives in my neighborhood. He is broad shouldered with fine features, and a stance of a hard-worked life. 

His truck is always clean and his driveway always plowed,

though I’ve not seen a soul to help him do either. 
He sits on summer days in a plastic chair at the head of his drive watching traffic.  

A broom or rake always resting across his knees.  

When I pass, I honk and he waves.  

In the evening his silhouette fills the long glass windows of his sunroom, 

backlit by what appears to be the fluid colors of a television. 
I do not know this gentleman, 

but he has become a part of my routine, 

to look for him sitting alone in his window, 

to honk for a wave as I pass, 

and to always ponder the possibility of bringing him a coffee and sitting awhile. 
I imagine my presence filling the empty chair across the table from him in the sunroom, 

or on the lawn cross-legged in the sun.
Just to know

Just to listen 

Just to chat
I never have.
That Cynical Cecil inside my mind does more than just discourage art. 

‘What would you say?’ It would ask.

‘How would you begin?’

‘How would he receive you — this young stranger with warm coffee and a smile…’ 
Lately-

the weather has been too harsh for sitting at the end of a drive, 

the wind too sharp for plastic chairs. 

I look anyway, 

waiting to honk at the silhouette in the sunroom,

sitting across from the empty chair that calls to me.
But-

the lights behind the long glass windows are too dark for traffic watching…

the vacant sunroom too sharp for me to imagine my seat in the chair.
I didn’t know

I didn’t listen

I didn’t chat 
My hand still hovers above my horn as I pass, 

waiting for that faint glow of a television, 

or perhaps that wave I have come to know… 
But mostly I wait for that gentleman 

with the broad shoulders 

and hard-worked stance.
Because now I know how I should have begun…
Simply, with a warm coffee and a smile.

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3 thoughts on “Warm coffee 

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