Sunday 23 October 2016

Tea Leaves

Published 26/07/2015 | 02:30

Tea Leaves

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by Alice Kinsella

Amongst the ghosts

Of coffee dates

Gone by

Two old friends met

to share a brew and some moments.

They sat on rickety chairs

out of doors in sticky rain.

Shredded tobacco with shaking hands

Into thin bent rollies

And tugged on them to fill their mouths

with anything but words.

Coffee for her and a green tea for him

A long repeated order

a rehearsal of a memory

And do you remember when?

He did.

And how we used to?

She did.

They were great times weren't they?

They agreed they were.

He tells her he remembers

when she bought those earrings

a flea market wasn't it?

No it wasn't she tells him

These were a gift.


They were sitting still.

But they knew where they were going.

The cups emptied

the butts smouldered like late night peat

They waited a bit longer

Before paying the bill

Spilling coins on the table like a flood of tears

that just wasn't coming.

They rose with silent mouths to say


Good luck then

And thanks for it all.

Before dividing paths

They looked smiled again

A shallow curve that didn't reach the eyes

They brushed hands instead of lips

trading nods instead of love.

© Alice Kinsella

This poem was performed at the Open Mic Night on Saturday July 18 at the Paris Wine Bar, which is under the railway bridge at 1 Frenchman's Lane, Gardiner Street, Dublin 1

Sunday Independent

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