“The One” Cafe In Richmond B.C.

June 5, 2013 at 1:30 am (Poetry) (, , , )

Taking the Canada Line train from Vancouver’s waterfront

to the City of Richmond south of Vancouver.

Outside the train window I spot a sign

that says The One Cafe.

I decide to try there.

I enter and sit at a table.

3 tables are across from me

as I sit in the middle of the restaurant.

The middle table is empty.

At the table on my left is an elderly man and woman

On my right sit two parents and a little girl

The dad has his back to me

The mother and little girl face me.

I place my order.

As I sit there I notice the mother with a large bowl of something

The little girl with a very tiny white bowl.

The elderly man at the left table sits

with his silver tipped cane walking stick,

The little girl has a wide smile

she’s obviously enjoying what she’s eating.

Her little white bowl is obviously empty 

for she takes her spoon and starts dishing food

out of her mother’s large red bowl.

The mother helps her with her own chopsticks

putting noodles and dumplings into the little white bowl

and then uses the chopsticks to cut up the dumplings

so the little girl can chew them.

The waitress arrives with food for the table on my left.

In front of the elderly man is put down a piping hot dish

of what appears to be a baked chicken dish on top of rice.

It looks delicious.

Makes me glad I ordered the Portuguese style baked chicken

on rice.

The man puts down his silver tipped cane he had been holding so tightly

and eagerly reaches for his fork and spoon.

A wide smile on his face

he digs into the dish.

I look back to the little girl.

She too is still smiling widely and is once again digging

into her mother’s bowl for more.

Back to the elderly man

whose face and hands are etched with long years.

His lines speak of a hard life 

but his smile speaks of a good life though hard.

His face looks etched with experience and wisdom.

I look over at the little girl on the table on my right

her face speaks of the joy and innocence of childhood

and her whole life ahead of her.

But she smiles joyously

the smile of a child obviously brought up in a home 

filled with love.

And so they eat happily and contentedly

the elderly man at the table on my left

and the little girl at the table on my right.

This is obviously a good place with good food

I reckon

judging from the beaming smiles

on the faces of the elderly man and the little girl.

It is correct this assumption.

When I get the Portuguese baked chicken on rice

it is a taste I’ve never tasted before in my life

but it tastes heavenly!

oh so heavenly!

The little girl is back for a fourth helping from her mother’s bowl

and then a fifth and then a sixth.

I don’t think the poor mother has had much of a chance

to eat much herself.

But she doesn’t seem to mind.

The smile on her daughter’s face brings a smile to hers.

The elderly man holds his spoon and fork tightly as he eats

his dish.

And eats.

And eats.

Smiling with every bite.

And pure joy in his eyes.

Then he is finished.

He pushes the dish to the far side of the table

to a spot I can see.

Totally empty.

He has eaten every bite.

Then and only then he puts down his knife and fork

and once again holds on tightly to his silver tipped cane.

I look back to the little girl who is now on her seventh helping

from her mother’s red bowl 

into her little white bowl.

The waitress brings the bill to the table on my left.

The elderly man and woman pay it and leave.

The elderly man has trouble walking-

hence the use of the cane

but one can see there is pride in his stride

and much fortitude-

no doubt enhanced by a deliciously good and filling meal.

Now the little girl has finished and the waitress brings the bill to that table

which the father pays.

The little girl skips happily down from her chair with much gusto

and fervour and ease

in contrast to the elderly man who required the use of a cane.

The dad has gone on ahead of her

and she runs to grab his hand

happily jumping and skipping.

The elderly man has lived a long and hard life

his step isn’t what it used to be

the little girl jumps as if she could reach heaven

which for her hopefully is many years away.

The old man has lived a full life

The little girl is only beginning hers

but on this day they have something in common

a deliciously home cooked meal that brought them much joy 

and smiles on their faces 

that is probably the greatest tip and compliment

a restaurant could ask for.


-A poem written by Christopher

 written circa 12:24 AM

 Wednesday morning

 June 5th 2013

 based on what he observed 

 in a Richmond restaurant

 around noon Tuesday

 June 4th 2013.

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