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Inside with English Breakfast

by Pippa Little

Sun butters the bay windows of the Seaview Café
this scorching afternoon. Outside in turquoise
blue the vista unfolds in waves –
families, dogs, parasols, the tiny lighthouse.

Inside with English breakfast and hot chocolate
it feels like late autumn or the featureless
grey of midwinter. Not cold, just numb,
the same old weather we’ve brought from home.

A son sits with his father and our glances catch.
The old man nudges a screen with his pinky’s knuckle.
Both have the same dreamy, absent look,
shoulders touching side by side in silence.

I am wordless too, waiting while you eat,
letting my coffee cool, watching the walkers
and paddlers in an endless, unspooling film
behind glass. We are motionless

while those other lives we lost or let go
flutter out there, moth-like in the hot light.
How strange the world’s become.
I reach across the table for your hand.

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