Poetry Reading: COFFEE, by Paul Wood

Performed by Val Cole

COFFEE by Paul Wood

On no what a palaver

What an awful din

The barista is going crazy

As the customers all pile in

Mums with small children

Spotty teenagers with attitude

All sorts from all walks of life

Are waiting in the que

I shuffle slowly along the counter

in company with all the rest

Until it’s my turn to face the question

I am here to fulfil my quest

The peaky barista glowing red

With hot coffee sweats

Looks at me with wide eyed judgement

And asks loudly “who’s next”

“I will have a coffee please ” as I look at him

And thanking him in advance

“What one do you want Sir the list is rather vast”

On no my minds a jumble

My tongue is rather tied

I seem to be completely dumbfounded

As I am stopped in my stride

“What ones have you got?” I ask

“I have never been here before

People turn and look at me

As I shrink into the floor.

The barista truly speechless

The stress is rising up

He takes a deep breath his eyebrows frown

As he grabs the next coffee cup

“There are lots to choose from,

I know them off by heart,

If you have a few minutes

from the list I will begin to start”

The shop fell silent

A pin you could have heard

As people all stopped motionless

To hear the list that he had learned

Through gritted teeth and stale coffee breath

“Well sir as you see this is a coffee shop”

“We only sell lovely coffee here”

“I will read it from the top”

“Espresso that’s number one there,

you must have heard of that,

what about the next one down,

, we call it a long black”

“There’s a Macchiato,

now that is the third one down,

you can have it short or long,

and is especially nice while in your dressing gown”

“Number 4 there is a mocha,

I am a really big fan of that,

what about an Americano,

You can have it with milk, but I prefer mine strong and black”

Standing there I ummed and aaarrd

As I listened hard to the offerings that he had

I was now really, really, really confused

I was feeling rather bad

“I am not sure” I said ” What else have you got?”

As I gave a nervous grin

There were tuts and gasps from the watching crowd

As the barista gently breathed in.

looking at his biblical list he slowly points

His face all spotty and a glo

“I am sure you know” comes his sweaty reply

“It’s the nations favourite Mr cappuccino”

“Next we have a flat white,

and an affogato,

we have a cheeky piccolo latte there,

and a sexy Ristretto”

“I don’t know” I said “I am really confused,

all I wanted was a hot drink,

all skinny Latte this and fat Mocha that,

I didn’t want to cause a stink”

The barista slowly bows his head

His hands pulling at his hair

“It’s there Sir,…..just choose one,

any one please, just choose one, I really don’t care”

I surveyed his list and tried to remember the choice

All the names blurred into one

Quickly my mind was telling me

Your beginning to annoy everyone…

“I will have” as I slowly looked around

The customers statuesque with baited breath

The clock on the wall minutes slowly ticking by

The que behind me gripped in anticipation for my choice to be said

My mind had made the decision

Its now on the tip of my tongue

a round of applause had slowly erupted

like a slow hand clap from a cricket pavilion

“Well out with it “the overheating barista said

“Finally, thank the lord”, his voice was all a glee

“What I want,. “YES!” … what I really want” … “YES YES. FOR GOD SAKE WHAT!!!!!!!”

.. “Is just a lovely cup of tea “

Author: poetryfest

Submit your Poetry to the Festival. Three Options: 1) To post. 2) To have performed by an actor 3) To be made into a film.

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