It’s not really like Rosalie’s Good Eats Café,
There are sorrows and blunders and strife
But other things too, for this funny old pub
Has at least its full share of true life.
There’s a seven-year-old in pyjamas who stands
And looks out from a window upstairs.
He’s clever: he’s made his own time-machine
And it’s giving him flashes of years.
The off-season’s ending, the island prepares
For crowds who’ll be coming here soon.
A scratch-crew is manning the stools in the bar
And the beer-garden under the moon.
There’s a middle-aged widow and her teenage son,
He’s bored, he’d like girls or more beer
Even some friends his own age would be nice
He wishes his mother weren’t here.
His mother can sense it, only too well
She can’t reach him, although she can try.
(She painted a scene at the lighthouse at dawn.
He’ll look at it one day and cry.)
A genteel English lady is taking it in,
She makes her martini last
She comes from a distant and murderous war,
But that is all long in the past.
Her husband will come on tomorrow’s boat,
They’ll hire bicycles at the store,
Watch birds, watch the sunset over the lakes
And not ask for anything more.
There’s an old man alone bent over a glass
With his face as blank as a wall.
He’ll never let anyone guess that he’s come
To say goodbye to it all.
The bespectacled lawyer drinking his beer
Lost the love of his life months ago.
He’s surprised he’s not shaken it off with a laugh,
He’s surprised that the healing’s so slow.
Now the girl that he met while sailing today
Is staying here at the hotel
He’s too shy and uptight when looking at her
To see that she wants him as well.
She’s not wearing much sitting there on the stool
And she looks at his friend with a smile
He still isn’t getting it yet, the poor fool,
But maybe he will in a while.
There’s a man and a woman sitting outside
With their toes in the cool silver sands.
They met here twenty-five years ago.
They’re holding each other’s hands.
They know each other’s being with renewed
Senses of love and surprise
And the moon, with its splendid sense of cliché
Reflects as a light in their eyes.
They kiss and they whisper, trying to express
The things at the limits of speech.
In the water’s last shallows the little top-shells
Tinkle and wash on the beach.