The karate boys are in the coffee shop,
cheddar cheese belts wrapped
around white bread jackets.
They are kicking the air, the chairs,
each other. One just chopped his certificate
in two. Five of them are running between tables
topped with cappuccinos and chocolate muffins.
They’re lifting their arms up: KIAI! then throwing
them down. KIAI! and down again.
Hiya! a toddler waves, desperate to join in,
the karate boys ignore him. KIAI!
The only girl sitting atop a barstool,
wearing the only orange belt in the room,
waves at the toddler, Hiya,
before returning to her ham toastie.

© Carl Burkitt 2022

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