Sitting in a Café

Sitting in a Café

Well, I’m sitting in a café on my own in Skibbbereen
Watching all the people come and go.
I’m sitting in a café drinking creamy cappuccino
Listening to the conversation flow.

There’s a little group of schoolgirls
with surreptitious cigarettes,
Self-conscious and oblivious and cool.
Life, when you are fifteen, is as serious as it gets,
with videos and clothes and boys and school.

Two women, heads a-huddle, confidential tete a tete,
lacerating reputations at a stroke
And the cream and gooey gateaux lie forgotten on the plate
as the sotto voce verdict is invoked.

Well, I’m sitting in a café on my own in Skibbbereen
Watching all the people come and go.
I’m sitting in a café drinking creamy cappuccino
Listening to the conversation flow.

A young woman blessed – or is it cursed? – with beauty in excess
like a fairy tale princess upon a throne,
And if, in our World, good looks and money mean success,
Well, I wonder why she’s sitting all alone?

And there’s an old man in the corner, cap pushed back upon his head,
intent on his feed of spuds and pork.
And he’s thinking of the dealing and that Friesian calf be bred
And his working hands dwarf his knife and fork.

Well, I’m sitting in a café on my own in Skibbbereen
Watching all the people come and go.
I’m sitting in a café drinking creamy cappuccino
Listening to the conversation flow.

And there’s a sprawl of gangly schoolboys in raucous banter at the back,
heavy innuendo through their talk:
Arrogance and innocence, all issues white or black
And all eyes glued to the way the waitress walks!

But who’s that nosy fecker at the table on his own?
The one who is so busy with his pen?
For all his observation, he’s just sitting there alone:
It seems he’s on the outside, looking in.

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