In the City Cafe of Tunis

Written by: Chokri Omri


We, pedestrians, who love open range
walk in and out for freedom and bread.
It is now high time for autumnal change
And the city streets are propelling us ahead.

Reality is contained and so in it is my life
Here just in this street corner of Lafayette
I rest in the Cafe and drink a cup of tea
The servant seems to be good natured 
with his smile he comes and goes here 
and there for nothing more than service.

Time is slow and outside the wind is blowing.
Moments grow, the lights are white and bright at night.
The two girls sitting in front of me must know it is late
But for this, as I see it, they do not care at all and wait.
They look at each other and laugh more than they speak
Why do I then fail to understand what they are weaving?

I drink my tea but the taste of it 
is getting bitter and bitter.
They could have been my sisters 
so that I would have asked them 
to go home before the storm 
but of no use now is my meddling.
I walk out with tears in my eyes 
to see that it is so cold inside and outside.

Chokri Omri 

‘In the Ornaments of the City Cafe’
2012