the coffee shop lady

i watched her from two tables over
fidgeting with mismatched salt and pepper shakers
her pencil-like fingers moving them methodically
as though they were pawns on a chessboard

her tea, like her body, had long ago lost warmth
now contained in a paper cup and plastic lid
where angel’s hair clouds once pushed
like cotton circles against celestial seasonings splashes

an oversized oval-shaped chipped broach
held her too-shiny blouse modestly shut
three buttons from the top
slightly off center to cover any indecency

her smile was warm, engaging each new patron
and with kind eyes she appeared to weep for their sins
knowing that none who crossed her path
was righteous

i watched her fingers as much as her eyes
blanketed with skin looser than her morals had ever been
and i felt ashamed that i had not known her as a child
perhaps i would have lived life better