There is a woman in a peach blouse
flailing her arms emphatically
like the gist of her story
or joke depended on it.
Her lady friend keeps her arms neatly folded
but acknowledges the intensity of this narration
or simply indulges
with upturned lips stretching as far as her ears
until laughter breaks.
Laugh lines and crow’s feet grown deeper and deeper
with each tale,
with every exaggerated gesture
to emphasize the remembrance
of otherwise forgotten details –
of dresses worn,
a bright hue, perhaps, like the one she wears today.
They stand up, taking time pulling back their chairs intently
taking small steps, cramming words
into the short distance between them
and their table for two
now with empty mugs and used teaspoons,
torn packets of brown sugar and cream
and lipstick marks on folded paper napkins-
a ritual of prolonging goodbyes.
A tight embrace by the doorway hinders anyone
from walking through
sealing the passageway temporarily
until after they’ve let each other go.