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People watching

September 30, 2012

It may be nearly October, but warm, dry days and above-freezing temperatures at night have kept leaves clinging to trees and tourists clinging to their last days away from jobs and routine. Meanwhile, the locals who have been avoiding town all summer are ready to park right in front of their destination, walk into a restaurant without a reservation, and recognize every face at the bar. Part of me always loves seeing the two groups overlap; it makes for some entertaining people watching.

Second Glance

Bright sunlight
pours through clerestory windows
as steady as the waitress’s hand
releasing those first
twelve ounces of coffee
Summer may have ended
locals reclaimed favorite haunts
but tourists refuse to depart
They flow into the narrow corridor
wait to be ushered to still-warm seats
clutch guidebooks like security blankets
lay maps alongside white ceramic
striped with first and last sips
Motorcycle jackets engulf chair backs
still reflective beneath layers of road dust
Hiking boots peek from beneath
expensive khaki zip-off pants
Daypacks tucked against creamy walls
hold everything from cameras to
dry flies to golf balls
They plan the week’s, day’s, hour’s adventure
at volumes that make Muzak pointless
all but a solo diner
braced against the breakfast bar
broad back to the room
splayed legs crossed at the ankles
coffee mug pushed to the end of his reach
leaving room for paper and pen
Dressed for church perhaps
short-sleeve button down
checked in the pastel blues and browns
my father always favored for June Sundays
His hand fills page after page
perhaps thoughts about the day’s sermon
or maybe it’s all business
no day of rest for this modern cowboy
cell phone holstered on his belt
man enough not to hide
smooth bare skin encircled by
neatly trimmed graying fringe
But as the only other diner
letting eggs grow cold
distracted by words spilling from my head
I glance his way again
wondering if I’m watching
just another poet

This poem was written for the dVerse Poets Pub Poetics topic: People watching. Thanks, Brian!

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. October 1, 2012 6:44 am

    That ending line is awesome ~ I also muse about other people, and who knows, he might be another writer ~

    I like how described the scene at the coffee table, with the tourists and modern cowboy ~

    Enjoyed the visit ~

    Like

  2. October 1, 2012 4:27 am

    ha that could be me you know…lol…and perhaps he is writing of you…wonder what he is saying…its an intersting phenomena as well…the locals and the tourist…lived in FL for a bit and saw it…also in college i was in a small town where when the students came back the population quadrupled so i saw that as well….a modern cowboy eh? smiles.

    Like

  3. Kick Out The Jams permalink
    October 1, 2012 3:01 am

    Thats really nice Julie, love the cellphone holstered on his belt! Nice piece of observation.

    Like

  4. September 30, 2012 9:54 pm

    smiles…maybe it was another poet and he was just writing about you..smiles..very cool capture…i enjoy being somewhere as a tourist in the low season to spot out some locals and get a better feeling for the people and area

    Like

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