The Coffee Lady

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Below is the poem entitled The Coffee Lady which was written by poet The Seeker. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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The poem is below.


The Coffee Lady

I sit and watch her from my corner booth,
and I wonder what her life is like.

She flits from table to table offering
refills to all who wish it.  Her hips are
thick as tree trunks, her painted-on smile 
neon red, the lines on her forehead clearly 
visible as she draws closer.  What I notice most
is the hollow sadness in her eyes, deeper than 
any wishing well.  Even when she puts on
that phony smile the eyes remain the same. 

I look out the dirty window of the cafe
and drift off into a dream.  It's as though 
I can see her life flashing before my eyes.

A scruffy little girl with crooked teeth and
a soiled dress.  Mommy yelling, yelling
about something.  Always something.  
Daddy loves his little one, in ways that no
daddy has the right to.  She never cries, 
sucks it up, puts on a brave face at school.
Never gets above a C in any of her classes.

I see her now at 14 year with braces
and a baby bump.  Her boyfriend is 12, not
even old enough to be called a teenager much
less a man.  Still, they love each other in their
own strange sort of way.  Daddy won't love
her anymore.  She doesn't mind. 

At 16 she leaves home, baby in tow, boyfriend
long since moved on.  For a time she lives from
one house of benevolence to the next, until the
charity runs dry.  I espy her and the baby in the
alley that runs behind the cafe, both crying and 
alone.  Finally, she can cry.  The cafe owner
hears a noise out back and decides to investigate,
gun in hand.  When he sees what he sees he
is moved with pity.  He stretches out his hand
and says to her,

"Come."  

She follows him inside to a room above 
the little cafe and to her surprise there is a 
made bed, a crib, and other items suitable 
for a night's stay.  He says to her,

"This room used to be my daughter's.  Like 
you, she had a little one to care for.  Now they are
no more."  

He stops there.  Not another word as he leaves
the room and closes the door.  For now, she feels safe.

There she is at 18, working at the little cafe for
going on 2 years.  Baby is three now, strong and 
healthy, a spitting image of her mommy.  The owner
of the little cafe loves his coffee lady, in ways that
perhaps a boss shouldn't...


"Sir, would you like a refresh?" 

Suddenly I find myself back to reality.  I look up
at her - that forced smile, the lines on her forehead
more deeply etched than I imagined, and those
sad, sad eyes.  I've never seen such beautiful blues
as hers.  A deep ocean they are, two seas existing
side by side.  I'm guessing that she's 30, though
 she looks much older.

I stutter, "Uh, yes ma'am, please.  And thanks."

I watch her walk away, and as I sip on
the best cup of coffee I've ever had, 
I wonder what her life is like.


Copyright © | Year Posted 2017

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12
  1. Date: 4/19/2017 1:15:00 PM
    This is a beautiful poem, and it made me stop right there, and think. How sometimes you can see someone and without knowing them KNOW them, if that makes sense. By looking, watching, listening. This was a very moving story,

    Seeker Avatar The Seeker
    Date: 4/19/2017 3:27:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    I'm glad you liked it Darren
  1. Date: 4/18/2017 6:16:00 PM
    OMG...this is fantastic! You have deeply moved me with the imagination, realistic imagery, and your creative mind in this wonderful poem Seeker. You rock! 7+ : )

    Seeker Avatar The Seeker
    Date: 4/18/2017 8:28:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    That means a lot Connie
    Marcum Wong Avatar Connie Marcum Wong
    Date: 4/18/2017 6:18:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    Forgot to congratulate you on a deserving POTD! : )
  1. Date: 4/18/2017 6:15:00 PM
    This touches my heart. Because you've just described someone's life that I used to know back in Hawaii. She was 19 and a mother of a baby boy. I did try to help her and her boy started calling me aunty. Bring back memories of her. Fantastic piece, Mr Seeker :)

    Downing  Avatar Akkina Downing
    Date: 4/18/2017 8:35:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    I've always try to do so whenever I can, however I can and with whatever I can do to help. And yes it would be fantastic to meet you too Mr Seeker :)
    Seeker Avatar The Seeker
    Date: 4/18/2017 8:27:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    Oh my that's so sad, but you really seem to be the kind of person who sticks their neck out for others. Maybe we'll meet at a PoetrySoup convention some day lol
  1. Date: 4/18/2017 5:27:00 PM
    I like how you took us inside the possibilities, showed us an intuitive connection to hardships-- I especially appreciated the subtle approach of all to real abuse so many young girls face(those lines work well, and the repetition is excellent, drives it home.) Now, I do wonder what would have happened if you changed the last four lines, what would have happened if you'd said "no, thank you," if instead of it being the best cup of coffee you'd ever had, it had been the most bitter to swallow. Hey, congrats on the placement! The message is a good one...

    Seeker Avatar The Seeker
    Date: 4/18/2017 8:25:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    Whole dream...
    Seeker Avatar The Seeker
    Date: 4/18/2017 8:24:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    Ironic that you mention that. I initially wrote it as the "worst cup of coffee I ever had...". But then I changed it because I thought 2 things. 1. Why is he here if they serve terrible coffee (though he could be an out of towner). 2. The who dream sequence is simply a fantasy concocted in his own head. Like I mention in a reply below, she could have just been tired, or had a bad day.
  1. Date: 4/18/2017 12:47:00 PM
    I can honestly say I am sorry I missed this one because you blew it out of the park here. Your story/poem is intense, endearing, in depth and a massive heart-tugger. You really outdid yourself with this one. The emotional aspect of this is something that should touch everyone and if it doesn't, they don't have a pulse. It is no wonder at all that this was awarded POTD. Outstanding work and something I wont soon forget. Your writing and storytelling talent shines brightly here.

    Seeker Avatar The Seeker
    Date: 4/18/2017 3:28:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    Thanks Chris. Means a lot
  1. Date: 4/18/2017 3:06:00 AM
    This is a fabulously, awesome write. Congratulations on POTD, definitely deserved. Going in my favorites.

    Seeker Avatar The Seeker
    Date: 4/18/2017 12:11:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    Ooh that's very nice
  1. Date: 4/18/2017 2:14:00 AM
    A 7++ for this descriptive and enjoyable read, I love a narrative form of poetry and I was not disappointed. Looking forward to reading your other poems. Congrats on getting POTD

    Seeker Avatar The Seeker
    Date: 4/18/2017 12:10:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    Kewl. Thanks much
  1. Date: 4/17/2017 5:40:00 PM
    Dude! : ) An unequivocal 7, Tom - you're in excellent narrative voice here. Never put it all together like you have here, but I've had similar thoughts. I know who you mean.

    Seeker Avatar The Seeker
    Date: 4/17/2017 6:23:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    Thanks for high praise Doug
  1. Date: 4/17/2017 3:40:00 PM
    You are quite the storyteller, painting a picture of a coffee lady as a desperate soul. Thanks for what you shared here.

    Seeker Avatar The Seeker
    Date: 4/17/2017 4:51:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    And thank you for visit
  1. Date: 4/17/2017 2:10:00 PM
    Do tears come to both your eyes in the same amounts like they just did to mine? She seemed like such a sweet valentine, but time travels on and passes by; Another tear formed in my eye.

    Seeker Avatar The Seeker
    Date: 4/17/2017 4:50:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    Sometimes I read the newspaper and I feel the same way
  1. Date: 4/17/2017 1:41:00 PM
    You are one of the best story tellers ever...Your story made me 'Feel'...A favourite dear friend.Awesome.

    Seeker Avatar The Seeker
    Date: 4/17/2017 4:49:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    Your comment made me smile
  1. Date: 4/17/2017 12:21:00 PM
    Well done, Tommy, I wonder how many have lived a life like this?... congratulations on POTD.

    Seeker Avatar The Seeker
    Date: 4/17/2017 4:49:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    I wonder too. Thanks Evie
  1. Date: 4/17/2017 10:23:00 AM
    Hi Tom , I think I was the first to comment on this well written piece. You are an amazing story teller. Congratulations on getting the poem of the day. It was well deserved: -) Alexis

    Seeker Avatar The Seeker
    Date: 4/17/2017 4:49:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    :)
  1. Date: 4/17/2017 9:50:00 AM
    Hello Seeker. Good Morning. This is exceptional. I was mesmerized with each line. I so enjoyed the tale and your expression. Be proud of your execution. Congratulations on it being chosen POTD for it is well deserved. Well done in its entirety.

    Seeker Avatar The Seeker
    Date: 4/17/2017 4:48:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    Feels good to be here. :)
  1. Date: 4/17/2017 9:08:00 AM
    Only yesterday was I thinking that it has been long since I read you, and here I find this gem of a story, Seeker:) you sure know how to pull in a reader, congratulations on your POTD, a 7:) astounding ending too, makes one ponder:)

    Seeker Avatar The Seeker
    Date: 4/17/2017 4:48:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    Thanks so much Jo
  1. Date: 4/17/2017 8:40:00 AM
    - Congrats on your p.o.t.d. :) - A captivating story, T.S. - hugs // Anne-Lise :)

    Seeker Avatar The Seeker
    Date: 4/17/2017 4:47:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    :)
  1. Date: 4/17/2017 6:51:00 AM
    Great storytelling, Seeker. Congrats on POTD.

    Seeker Avatar The Seeker
    Date: 4/17/2017 4:47:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    Yes'm
  1. Date: 4/17/2017 6:48:00 AM
    I think she was a Bernie Madoff victim, forced to sell her place in the Hamptons, husband was a co-conspirator who she turned states evidence on and is now in wittiness protection, but that's just me... Great story telling Seeker, congratulations on POTD honors...

    Seeker Avatar The Seeker
    Date: 4/17/2017 7:38:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    So many possibilities, so little time...
  1. Date: 4/17/2017 6:26:00 AM
    Back to congratulate you! Have a fabulous day :) xomo!

    Seeker Avatar The Seeker
    Date: 4/17/2017 4:47:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    U2 Maureen
  1. Date: 4/17/2017 6:19:00 AM
    Lost in the story... loved it... i often find myself asking this of strangers. Fab read.

    Seeker Avatar The Seeker
    Date: 4/17/2017 4:46:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    Don't we all
  1. Date: 4/16/2017 10:07:00 AM
    From just a smile we can glean so much.. and our imagination does the rest..An absorbing story..

    Seeker Avatar The Seeker
    Date: 4/16/2017 10:21:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    Thanks Joe. Yes, what lies beneath?
  1. Date: 4/16/2017 4:55:00 AM
    You do have imagination. Plus you can tell a story. Was all this real. Funny I think it did, but who knows. Life is full of surprises. A great 7

    Seeker Avatar The Seeker
    Date: 4/16/2017 8:54:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    It's fiction, but I think all of us have had that moment where we study a stranger for a bit and ask ourselves, I wonder what their life is like...
  1. Date: 4/15/2017 7:10:00 PM
    You are a very skilled storyteller drawing the reader in to feel the emotion and heart of your words. The ending is classically you, we are left to further ponder and reflect. There is a beautiful humanity to the characters that is soulful and inspiring. Excellent write, a fave, 7+ lynnxxx

    Seeker Avatar The Seeker
    Date: 4/15/2017 7:21:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    I really would have liked to flesh this out, but this isn't really the forum for it. Thanks much Lynn. Have a great weekend
  1. Date: 4/15/2017 5:52:00 PM
    I wonder now, too, what her life is like. I was completely sucked into this.

    Seeker Avatar The Seeker
    Date: 4/16/2017 8:53:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    Thanks for riding along james
  1. Date: 4/15/2017 5:15:00 PM
    A goosepimply write! Exquisite execution :) 7

    Seeker Avatar The Seeker
    Date: 4/16/2017 8:53:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    Goose pimply. I like it!
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