April 2017 Competition Winner

Time On His Hands

Bill Lythgoe

Outside the taverna, in the late afternoon
he sits at a plastic table,
lit by a shaft of sunlight.
Slowly, he wipes the thick, black,
clinging coffee stains
from his full white beard
with the back of the hand
that clutches the amber beads.

His other hand wonders whether
to pour a drop of clean water
into the glass of untouched ouzo
that waits on the table
next to the coffee cup;
whether to ignore the clock
and light another cigarette
before he starts to wander back

past white walls
warmed by the same sun
that shed its radiant light on Plato.