9.25.19 – Moth Coffeehouse, Allentown (Trees at the Coffeehouse)

Trees at the Coffeehouse, 2019
By. S. R. Shilling

there is a grist mill
which stands proudly
in a small town
within its walls
a place to meet
a place to eat
fragrant aromas
waft through the air
and dance between
the words thrown about
by the sea of conversations

an elderly man sits alone
upon one amongst the many
mixed together
chairs and tables
seemingly gathered together
from many previous owners
brought together under one roof
along the back
of the seat of his chair
the letters E. H. RA?? Ens. U.S.C.G.

of the decorations
all strewn about
which hang from the old mill’s joists
as straight as they need to be
no more than that
there is an old wasp nest
once a colony it held
within its paper-thin walls
now gray and dry as ash
hold together
several branches
which once supported it

wedding-white bursts
paper blossoms like peonies
at the top of a wall
algae green panels
with tired paint
displays proudly
that age is a beautiful thing

four
there are four mobiles
which hang and sway
delicately
in no rush
to show off
or be amusement for anyone

bits
of red
copper
blue
silver
recalling Calder
perhaps suggesting
that he sit for tea
pause
rest a while
watch the world
go round

former tree trunks
which once stood tall
and still
and silent
until they fell
once
again stand strong
lifted off the ground
their slabs
now tabletops
enjoying the company
of others
meeting before work
meeting after time apart
meeting for the first time
meet me by the tree
at the window to the world


Below are images made within The Moth Coffeehouse, in Allentown, NJ. They were made at the time of writing the above poem.

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