The Lady in the Cafe

on Sunday, March 01, 2009

The Automat (by Edward Hopper)

The Lady in the Cafe (by LGS)

I saw her again today,

As she took her regular seat,

In the corner of the café,

Her early morning retreat.

She’s always so neatly dressed,

As if every fold was in its place,

And every crease perfectly pressed,

A picture of quiet, elegant grace.

With her soft and gentle voice,

She places her breakfast order;

It’s almost always the same choice,

A couple of eggs easy over.

Though for a drink, she orders coffee,

Her eyes are not dreary from slumber;

Rather, they seem bright and perky,

Lying about the emptiness within her.

While she waits, she sits proper and prim,

Her hands resting upon the table,

Her painted smile begins to pull thin,

As her façade begins to crumble.

She sits there, hoping no one sees her,

Yet really wishing someone does;

Her heart sorely longs for adventure,

But cannot bear to face her fears.

She hopes that no one pities her,

For she has loved and been loved;

When she closes her eyes and remember,

She can feel the touch of her beloved.

And so she is there every morning,

Sitting in the corner of the café,

Never letting others come in,

Lest she allows him to fade away.


Janice Thomson said...

Lgs this is an awesome poem - you convey the feelings of sadness and loneliness so well. What a poignant last line.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Thanks, you are always so encouraging.

kat said...


so thought provoking and emotional

Anonymous said...

Fein beobachtet und bewegend.
Ich bin beeindruckt und ziehe meinen Hut.

Ruth W. said...

wonderful, that could be me!! Scary!!

Anonymous said...

Nice job of putting that painting to words. She looks so melancholy to me.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Thanks. I think it could be better but that's the level where I am at now.

I needed the help of Altavista's Babel Fish translation service to help me understand what you wrote. Thank you for the kind words but I did not understand the last part which was translated "and pull mean hat". ???:)

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

You can choose not to let it be! :)

I don't know how to write positive poems.......I seem to dip my pen in the inkwell of melancholy.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, LGS, my fault.
I find it "well observed" (but that is not exactly "fein") and moving. I AM impressed and take my hat off in front of you, in a gesture of greeting and veneration ("Wertschätzung" is it, veneration is not fitting hundred percent - translation IS a real problem!).

To make the story short:
Good poem, dude! (That may be the American version?) :)

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Lovely, a perfect match for the painting.

I often imagine lives for people I see and wonder how accurately I portray them in my mind. Usually, I don't find out. Perhaps there is no one truth about anyone, as it is only in the eye of the beholder.

Anonymous said...

Are you spying on me? hee, hee, hee

I am a creature of habit. Anything out of place at my favorite coffe shop and I will spot it within seconds. The staff say they miss me when I am not there. It messes up their comforabale routine, as it does mine.

You sound well, say "happy", yes? I always admire your positive outlook on life.
Take Care,

geewits said...

Nice poem! It fits so many scenarios, it should become an instant classic.

the walking man said...

Well done Squirrel and fine write and a finer read.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Thanks again for the kind words. This time I understand all of them. :)

I do too. It's like having a novel to read.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Wow. Thanks. That is so kind and encouraging.

Thanks. As always, your input is highly regarded.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I love this painting -- and such a lovely poem to accompany it!

Joyce's Ramblings said...

Thanks for a great but truthful poem! You pictured alot of lives.

tsduff said...

Excellent verse. I understand the end. The picture is perfect. Your powers of observation are impossibly keen.

Jo said...

LGS, I had no idea you were so talented. My goodness! You have conveyed the mood of the painting wonderfully...! I am impressed. :-)

Edward Hopper is one of my favorite painters, and I have one of his paintings, "Chop Suey".

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

It is a great painting, isn't it. Thanks for the kind words on the poem too.

Thanks, that means a lot to me.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Thanks. Though I don't think it is observation as much as it is imagination.

Thanks. I don't know anything about Edward Hopper other than this painting which is also a recent find. Perhaps you can educate me. I seem to be learning a lot about art from you. Remember "Christina's world"?

Jo said...

LGS, the painting The Automat is owned by the Des Moines Art Center. I think Edward Hopper's painting are wonderful.

I hope the link works.

I actually learned quite a bit about Christina's World after reading your blog.

Andre said...

In a word: Depressing.

"Poignant" also comes to mind. "Moving" could also describe this piece. But "depressing" is probably more apt.

Maybe it wasn't your intention, LGS, but this piece reminds me of why I've always disagreed with the "'tis better to have loved and lost..." line.

If 'loving and losing' eventually turns me into the lady (well, the GUY) at the cafe, count me out...

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Thanks again for helping me learn more about art.

I don't disagree with you. Unfortunately my poetic inspiration is always from the dark side. My intention was to reflect someone who is afraid to live because she feels it betrays her first love even though he is no longer here.

Andre said...

"My intention was to reflect someone who is afraid to live because she feels it betrays her first love even though he is no longer here."

One of the cool things about artistic expression is that it can mean different things to different people. So what you portray as a woman who does not want to betray somebody else, another person might see as a woman who was betrayed herself. Or it could portray somebody who distances themselves from the world in fear of being hurt/betrayed. The possibilities are endless.

So while most roads lead to some kind of sad story, I think its subjectivity is what makes it profound.

Nice work. In a sombering sort of way... :)

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Sorry, I missed your comment somehow. No, I haven't been spying....I am definite that you are not the woman in the picture. Hope you are keeping well.

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