Still cagouled against the incessant rain outside
she tucks her capacious handbag between her feet
an umbrella and walking stick added encumbrances
beneath the tiny table.
She arranges the contents of her tray with precision:
scone first, sliced and meagerly buttered,
tea in the pot stirred then poured
the ritual neat and meticulous.
She drinks and eats, and nothing more,
no purchases to peruse
nor interest in her fellow patrons,
unremarkable and inoffensive,
but strangely out of place
amongst the affluent shoppers
with their beige linen jackets and
She is still there as we leave
finished but sitting,
the price of a seat in the warm and dry.