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Ode to the cafe of love

Lydia Aldridge

This city is full of half faces

ones that deny a half smile or nod

Preferring to half look, both at me and away again.

I am wholly sick of these half places.


Sick and tired, but once more I must check that

my old haunts are alive and well.

I pass with a faint smile, I have

no need for them anymore.


Love, in the Cafe Amore, where I’d sit

and watch life happen to others

with a coffee that would always go cold.

Too bitter, but not without froth.

Of course, I would always eat the biscuit.


It’s a funny term, ‘haunts’, but it’s exactly what I did.

Stalking to and fro, waiting for a vacancy in their al fresco seating.

Awful customer, taking up space for 1 drink,

investing 1.60 for some respite.

Buy a sandwich, for later, gives me an extra 20 minutes.


I have the same habit still,

of sitting with lukewarm coffee, staying just a little bit too long.

But I no longer sit at the Cafe Amore,

It really did for me all it could,

offering me a slice of the world when I no longer felt a part of it.


I found life in the Cafe Amore, between the sandwiches and pastries,

in the contentness of nursing a coffee.

If I were to return it would be to an empty cup.

O, Cafe of Love, you were home to me.

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