The gleaming espresso machine
Emits its high pitched screech
As it steams the semi-skimmed milk.
The barista wipes the steel nozzle
For the hundredth time today.
Her desensitised nose no longer registers
The pungent aroma of ground coffee.
Feet throbbing, a twinge in her back,
Only twenty minutes left,
And then it’s shift change.
How many times has she smiled
At one blank face after the other,
And felt her energy dissipate?
The pot for customer tips
Boasts three shiny coffee beans,
But only a handful of dull coins.
Customers perch on wooden seats,
Dragging out their drinks
Whilst they while away the time.
Some alone, some in company,
Many of them with empty eyes.
The dishwasher is half way through
Its nineteenth cycle of the day.
The clock ticks hypnotically.
Can everyone hear it?
Or have they all been deafened
By their own mundane thoughts
And futile preoccupations?
Copyright © 2012 Vicky Newham. All Rights Reserved.