Posts Tagged ‘breakfast’

All at Once

Before I woke, my son and I
were eating breakfast—

a beautiful brown-crusted boule,
warm from the oven,

and he was slicing it and making
a giant mess of it,

the bread tearing and smushing,
and we were laughing—

his head was thrown back
with the joy of making a mess,

carefree and goofy and foolish.
Crumbs everywhere.

God, how I loved him
as he smashed a hardboiled egg

onto the uneven slice.
How I loved him

as he stuffed his mouth
with the botched bread and egg.

How I loved him as we laughed
and laughed and laughed.  

How I loved him when I woke
and he was dead,

his absence making the love
no less beautiful, no less true,

our laughter no less mirthful
in the empty room.

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Sunday Morning

A soft poached egg
and a slice of pumpernickel toast,
a cup of English Breakfast
and my oldest friend and I
sitting at the round table a sunlit room
laughing and talking—
there are moments so ordinary
as to be perfect—moments
we feel so completely ourselves
we don’t try to hold on to the minutes.
Such moments don’t try
to put themselves in a picture frame,
don’t pretend to be necessary or grand.
They ask us for nothing except
that we spend them like change,
as if we had a lifetime supply.

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            Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!

Because I can’t serve you
breakfast in bed, I’ll
serve you a poem,
and knowing how
you like cake for breakfast,
it will be a sweet poem,
with penuche frosting
swirled atop every line.
And because it is a poem,
we can imagine
that the mug with pictures
of your granddaughter
(due to arrive on Monday)
has already arrived
and that it is filled with
Café Vienna, and laced,
why not, with whiskey,
because, hey, it’s a poem,
and you won’t really
get drunk, just happily
tipsy on all the love
served between the lines,
the kind of love that makes you
lean back into the pillows
and close your eyes
and smile like you have
life’s best secret,
the kind of love that makes you
leap out of bed and laugh,
buoyed by joy, a bit of penuche,
creamy and sweet,
still singing on your tongue.

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The first year I won the Slush Mush contest
I was shocked as my grandfather read a long, official letter
to everyone else around the Christmas tree
about how my entry into the Slush Mush Breakfast Cereal contest
had been the best one received that year.
I didn’t remember entering.
In fact, I was sure I had not.
Yet I won a puzzle.
Another year my brother won.
Or my mother. Or my cousin.
And each Christmas morning, my grandfather read
the long official letter
which always ended “Eat more Slush Mush.”
It was many years before I understood
how the contest worked.
And for the last twenty years
since he’s been gone,
I carry on, buying puzzles, writing letters,
appointing unsuspecting winners.
Part of me thrills in this annual ruse
because it reminds me of him.
Part of me thrills in remembering
how strange and wonderful it felt
to be chosen not because of how hard
I had tried, but because I was part
of a circle of love. It’s a malnourished world,
he would write every year. Thank you, Papa,
for the Slush Mush.

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It’s just a piece of toast.

Bread. Heat. Butter.

Last season’s apricot jam.

It’s just breakfast. Just

simple carbs and a little fat

so that their brains can

function better, bodies

can move without hunger.

It’s just a few bites

that disappear in moments.

No one looks at the meal tenderly.

No one thinks, oh, my mom

must really love me—

look at the way she spread the butter

so evenly to cover all the bread.

No one thinks, she knows

just how light, just how dark

I like my toast. No, they just eat it

and rush toward the door.

Some part of me is grateful

they take it so for granted,

believing love is as easy

as pushing down a toaster lever,

as simple as saying thanks.

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