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Cafes Johnson

The big soft sad eyes, nostalgic like a song of the Antilles, have seen the passing of the sumptuous, the fierce, the bloody procession of war. In the ports they have contemplated the arrival of merchant ships, loaded with men, who were going to die perhaps, who were certainly going to suffer. They have seen guns, munitions, provisions, accumulate on the quays. They have seen soldiers on the roads, lorries in the mud; the wounded on stretchers. And those eyes have been even sadder. The man with golden skin, like a coffee grain, that beautiful coffee that grows in full sunlight in the lush and fertile ground. His flowered isle stands in the middle of the sea, the pride of its palm trees and its blooming vegetation. It is not possible that he has had no regret during the long months when his easygoing nature every day found new work to do, before a horizon that nothing came to brighten; nothing but the bitter feeling about obscure banal duty.