Coffee Morning

Fiona Sinclair

Front door ajar, no Jack Russell alarm,
their house has the uncanny air of a crime scene.
‘’Hello?’’
‘’We’re all in the living room!’’
Her casual text had suggested coffee and gossip at the kitchen table.
I put on ‘Jolly Fiona’ like a heavy coat and enter,
am a brief comic turn as I reveal with a conjurer’s flourish
my contribution , a partially consumed sponge;
which is placed on the coffee table beside
a voluptuous gateau and showy cup cakes.
I wince at every incision as my remnant is surgically sliced
’’So everyone can have a piece‘’
then remains uneaten on the plate.

Peeping over my coffee cup,
the other guests are all couples,
paired like ornaments around the room,
making me the oddment in a boot fair bric-a brac box.
Chat reverts to teenagers at college,
a foreign language to me so I watch the jubilee on the TV
and get tipsy on carbohydrates.
Changing course their conversation continues to blow
straight through me,
my initial jollity deflates like air
from a punctured balloon.
I clock watch for my escape plan’s zero hour.
At one , several false starts , as my dry mouth has rusted up.
Finally I scramble mumbling ’ Lunch date’,
then scurry to my car like the last of my species
shown the door by Noah.

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