Wednesday, November 16, 2005

For Aletta's dad

SEED: "Life is too short for instant coffee"

Last time I saw Gramps,
shrunken some in a nursing home --
he offered me a cup of coffee.
"Sure," I said, instantly taken back
to a farm house kitchen --
scents and sounds of Grandma
always cooking something,
and coffee we couldn't have,
being kids and all.

"I'm not allowed a cooking ring,"
he mumbled while moving to the TV.
From its innards he removed a pot,
slightly warm from chaffing dialogue
on soap operas never really watched --
some noise for company, you understand.

This pot nestled quickly into a close remembered spot
atop a lamp he had rigged, just because he could;
and received an eye-measured dollop
of instant coffee crystals,
with no apologies,
but a sigh scarce held back.

"It'll take a while to perk," he said,
carefully cleaning up such evidence
that might catch a "keeper's" eye;
so we chatted a bit of useless things,
and then of childhood adventures,
and observations on life
without judgment or regret.

It took about an hour -- maybe more
for the coffee to prepare just right --
strained though a sieve like there were grounds
for such concerns and patient care --
into fragile china cups
that had been Her favorites.

"Adele used to always have a fresh cup ready
about this time every afternoon," he mused;
and I stayed until he dozed off
in a spot of afternoon sun --
just because I could.


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