Prose Poem (“The morning coffee.”)

The morning coffee. I’m not sure why I drink it. Maybe it’s the ritual

of the cup, the spoon, the hot water, the milk, and the little heap of

brown grit, the way they come together to form a nail I can hang the

day on. It’s something to do between being asleep and being awake.

Surely there’s something better to do, though, than to drink a cup of

instant coffee. Such as meditate? About what? About having a cup of

coffee. A cup of coffee whose first drink is too hot and whose last drink

is too cool, but whose many in-between drinks are, like Baby Bear’s por-

ridge, just right. Papa Bear looks disgruntled. He removes his spectacles

and swivels his eyes onto the cup that sits before Baby Bear, and then,

after a discrete cough, reaches over and picks it up. Baby Bear doesn’t

understand this disruption of the morning routine. Papa Bear brings

the cup close to his face and peers at it intently. The cup shatters in his

paw, explodes actually, sending fragments and brown liquid all over the

room. In a way it’s good that Mama Bear isn’t there. Better that she rest

in her grave beyond the garden, unaware of what has happened to the


Bibliographical info

“Morning Coffee” is used by permission from Collected Poems (Coffee House Press, 2013). Copyright © 2013 by Ron Padgett.

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