TRCH

An Ode to Brown Betty's

24 July 17 words: Bridie Squires

Our favourite St James' street cafe is closing. And we are in mourning...

Oh, you.

Solid, wooden frames outlining solace;
that Old Wild East Midlands pit-stop
family waiting to fill up bellies,
the ones with the faces that feel like hugs.

All those times we drifted in
to “Welcome! Please, come and sit”
playing a game of solitaire at the table
with lots of other people

eyeing up black and blues,
brie, breads, bacons upon bacons,
halloumi, olives, feta cheese,
salads that made us sweat.

You, angels painted on the wall
watching all the people fall in love,
mother telling kids to get a drink
out the fridge while she creates

beautiful chicken curry,
all home-made, nourishing;
plates of hope and peppers
sprinkled with a little smooth

taking of the piss,
without being rude.
“What you having then?
Come on, I haven't got all day.”

Just a little time to take a breather
Mother and Father Making
Bacon Cobs in the Morning;
it's been a while since I've been home.

Behind the counter, he flicks the Vs.
“Do you want a straw? Let me
light that candle for you,” she coos.

You, copies of the LeftLion scattering seats,
duvet chatter hugging every body
“I just. I don't know what to have.”
“This is delicious.”

Smirking eyelashes, handsome
apron and stomper boots bringing
copious fuel from behind a glass shrine
to pickled spice, tasty danger.

“I don't know if I can finish this,
a truly shocking amount of food.”
The salvation of a sip from a
San Pelly Ping Pong singing.

Oh, you.

You, full belly from mountain of chilli,
what a pleasure it is to eat ingredients
fresh from all the shouting,
at a sturdy table with good company
and an open door.

You, clever variety by the forkfuls,
swirler of a community that won't deplete,
people getting flavours just right;
microwave blasters, culinary masters.

You, grand archway to the feast,
all the meats and cheeses we could eat.
You, the mother bear of the cafes
sleeping in our fondest memories.

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