A college student probably,
though he looks as if he’s come
from work rather than class,
in dressy pale green shirt,
tie in a darker shade,
pressed stone chinos, stylish
shoes, grey suede lace-ups
with white rubber soles, no socks.
Tall, slender, looking rather lost
with his coffee cup in hand;
borrows a pen from the barista.
Returns to his table, stares at it
for a while—maybe he’s a little
homesick at the start of term.
Then, with concentration, writes
rather furiously. At first I think
he’s filling out an application,
but no, it must be something
for class; he makes notes on
a single sheet of paper atop
a notebook. Now he seems
a bit agitated, restless leg
he can’t keep still. Types
on his laptop haltingly,
looks stressed, runs his hands
through his hair—thick, dark
brown, medium length, layered.
Types some more, then suddenly
a smile. Has he solved the problem
or distracted himself with email,
Facebook? Expression changes
again, more serious, but also
calmer, legs still pumping, but
with less agitation. Stoically,
he takes a sip of coffee.
T. Allen Culpepper