Two people seated at a table for four;
they need the room;
bulk and shopping require it.
She stirs his cup; they eat slowly,
sipping their tea,
taking their time.
She leans across, speaks, pokes him in his side.
Laughing, they are cocooned
in a web of familiarity;
youth’s beauty, remoulded
by time’s callous hand; still beloved,
Past tragedies and joys rest softly,
layered between the tissue of years;
renewed when memory stirs the leaves.
Rising awkwardly on thick stockinged legs;
fleshy ankles spilling over
neat black shoes,
she reaches for her handbag.
He leans heavily on the table
as step by painful step,
he shuffles to help her into her coat,
then dons his own.
She sets the back of his collar
with a gentle tap on his shoulder.
They go their way;
© Marion Sharville