there is an air of tropical festivity
at the Starbucks today

sitting on the patio
our tadpole trikes parked nearby big banks
of cumulus clouds a faint breeze

wanders among the black steel chairs
redolent of spring growth and blossoms

one gray haired long distance cyclist
who just did 71 miles rolls in
is joined by another then 2 more

they all cycled somewhere out past
Wellsville and back full of gratitude
for ideal riding conditions

Cal – we soon will learn his name is Cal –
mentions his right shoulder
acts up occasionally, just throbs
when he rides past a hundred

they are all so obviously happy
to have completed the loop together
blessed with strong bodies
resting in the good chemical stew
from hard exercise they are
full of ride memories &
good-natured jokes about life
and one another anyone near

cannot help but smile toward them;
their chuckles are infectious

i enjoy my coffee in the confluence
of sweet air and their light banter,
smile and begin writing this poem

later it is just Cal, who we meet
near the door and Jennifer
a young friend he had just recognized
she’d come out to look at our trikes

she’s smiling too, clearly a fan of fitness
just headed home from the gym

she also writes poetry it turns out
according to Cal which coincidentally
i said to him i was writing
just now about you and your friends
would you like to hear
what i have so far?
i share and he then says
it was so strange but he also
had recently written about his group

poetry was not something he’d done before
but it just struck him all at once
that he was suddenly all alone
they didn’t even say goodbye just
got up as one and all disappeared

his writing was light hearted
like the whole group seemed to be
but soon we got off into spirituality

he recognized at the same time
he had expressed something vulnerable
and Jennifer joined in and although
her beliefs were more traditional
than ours we all acknowledged
the importance of openness

our willingness to listen
especially in total silence
not for the flow of our thoughts
but rather the voice of divinity

the strange thing is, i have this intention
that we will meet one another
and so easily share what is alive
and true in the depth of our being
but i so often hang back
and miss this moment of grace

then suddenly we were smiling
hugging and saying goodbye
rode off our separate ways
finished writing our poem and yet

we had all silently agreed
to carry more light forward
than we had within us
when we first arrived

two or more
gathered briefly here
just now
in the
coffee scented air

©John Greenleaf-Maple – text and art 20180516

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