January 27th, 2016 Kawfee Shawp

by Brendan Strong

A coffee shop
That could be a timepiece.
A timepiece that everyone has.
Like Casio calculator watches in the nineteen eighties.
Different enough to other cafés,
Except for the others within the chain
Which are very much the same,
But the Brand and the margin demands it!
What wood are ye, that adorns these walls
Strong, warm, inoffensive and above all:
Wipe-clean, in most cases no detergent needed.

The woman behind the counter is smiling,
Young, interested, glassy-eyed, tired.
Perhaps she dreams of coffee at night
Only to find soured cream by day time.
Maybe she’s had to add one too many vanilla shots
To a roast which is too damn strong,
Making the whole excursion wrong.
Who would do this to coffee?
Nonetheless: she uses the customers’ names,
Even though they’re cynical bastards who can’t see that she’s not to blame

The shelves are well appointed at eye level.
The produce pricey, that’s how the quality gets in,
Branded because a known name is a trusted name.
Unique: nobody else does it quite like this
(For fear of injunctions and trademark lawyers)
Timeless: whatever time you arrive, the first thing you see is a smile
(Because the staff don’t know who’s a secret shopper and don’t want their P45)
A timepiece, running like clockwork with articulated parts
(Designed with spreadsheets and charts)
A wondrous thing, alike all that is like it, and otherwise entirely unique.