I stared at the window, at its faintly peeling blue,
Old-fashioned perhaps, but with no trace of dirt,
I stared through the window, at the graceful green outside
That flickered rays of brilliant sunshine
Upon the neatly arranged mica-topped tables and molded chairs.
This was no air-conditioned coffee bar with extravagant
Ambiance and windows of stylish insulation,
This was just an ordinary roadside kaapikadai,
Yet a very happening place,
Where fresh air and natural light happened during the day—
A place that I once would have shunned
Had she not happened.
‘Ayiya, kaapi,’a gap-toothed grin looked down at me…
He was no barista in apron and shoes.
I smiled back confusedly, which I think he didn’t mind,
And directed my gaze at the steaming, bubbly beverage
In the typical traditional davara-tumbler upon my table.
The kaapi smiled at me, its refreshing aroma catching my nostrils.
I didn’t miss the large heavy mug of latte art with full-fat milk.
‘We must do kaapi and poetry someday,’ she had said,
I had smiled weakly, unable to share her exuberance,
My already weakened interest in her slipping down
Why had I felt that way about her then? Why? Why?
I had mistaken her simplicity for crudeness, for inelegance;
Time now revealed the hot-headedness of my ignorance—
She who imbued the essence of truthful living,
How could I have not seen the poetry of her soul?
The genuine love she epitomized?
A love that would have percolated drop by drop,
Transforming my plainness into an exotic elixir
Suffused with a heady, brimming wholesomeness…
A love that would have lingered its delightful naturalness
A love so tasteful that I would have relished it to the last drops…
Like this kaapi!
The kaapi awakened my senses, gave me strength,
I took my phone to call her but hesitated.
‘Will she pick up my call?’ I wondered.
Not wanting to overwhelm her, I sent her a selfie,
The vibrant window behind me, adding:
‘I am ready for someday; care to join me for kaapi?
We could make poetry together.’
I knew I had to be patient; I had to give the message
Time to percolate,
But my heartbeat a different song now,
A happy as kaapi song, and as I skipped out of the kaapikadai,
I gave gap-toothed grin an equally pleasant smile—
Love was upon my sleeve, and the classic lines of the kaapi song
Exuded verses of hope.
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