Sign seen on someone’s status today:
“Today’s Special Love and Healing”
I went into the cafe,
out of wet sleet and heavy overcast
and crowds too far in their own heads to acknowledge me.

The dining room was clean and shabby,
warm colors, some bright and some faded,
in harmonious visual disarray.
The chairs looked like you would actually want to sit in them,
and a few looked like you wouldn’t want to get up.

The fireplace, tucked into a corner, had a couch comfortably near,
with a crocheted afghan draped over the back,
and a wooden chest against the wall.

Three people were working there.
Two were behind a glass display case,
dancing between stove and oven and working counter
with the ease of long practice and long partnership,
trading smiles and tasks so that all things
were touched by both.
The third moved through the dining room, dancing as well
with a grace as he? she? wiped the tables, reset the chairs,
and in some cases disarranged things just a little
in case anyone found order unwelcoming.

One of the people behind the counter handed me a cup of tea,
unasked but welcome,
and I warmed my fingers on it as much as on the offered smile.

I know I sat with someone or someones,
unknown and recognized and beloved.
I know we talked comfortably.
I know we were comfortably silent.
I know there was music, but I can’t recall it now.

All I really remember is feeling welcome,
and smiles freely shared,
and finally being warm.


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