(Just a photo of an old fence, you say? Oh, but I think fences ... old ones in particular ... have things to say to us, if we will just listen)
Each of my poems has a past life.
Sometimes that background is quite complicated ... though the poems are usually pretty straightforward ... ordinary subjects presented with few adornments.
This one, I suppose, might be considered as having a "complicated" earlier life. I'll try to present the short version.
When I started painting, I simply started painting. It was later that I decided it wouldn't hurt to have a few lessons ... maybe a lot of lessons ... but that's another story.
When I started writing poetry, it was much the same. Eventually, I signed up for a class.
Needless to say, I was an older student ... THE oldest in the group, even counting the instructor. The class was very accepting of me, though, and I really enjoyed it.
Among those with whom I became acquainted was a young student who worked part-time in a coffee shop.
Possibly because I reminded her of her grandfather, she one day gave me a couple of coupons for free coffees.
Phyllis and I couldn't resist. We were soon sitting under the umbrellas, sipping our coffees ... er, lattes. It was the first latte I had ever had. I found it rather nice ... inspiring, in fact.
The rest is history, as they say.
LATTES FOR TWO
We're sipping vanilla lattes while sitting
beneath the umbrellas outside the coffee shop,
enjoying the soothing warmth of the cups
against our hands, the coffee sweet and gentle,
not aggressive, as it can sometimes be.
In my coffee and cigarette days, I slugged down
many a cup, always automatically topping off
after absently stubbing out another butt
and lighting up again, phones ringing, nerves
jangling, my paradigm of perpetual dependence.
But I've grown independent of such things,
an enforced laying to rest of my worst habits
in these years of summing up, a slow falling away
from a tendency to overindulge in so many
things that cheered me up or calmed me down.
Until today. Lured inside by the tempting offer
of a sample, I've wavered, weakened, lifted the cup
again, and after a few tentative sips to make sure
my taste buds weren't playing tricks on me, I think
I might be hooked, feel myself being reeled in.
Oh, if Eve had only suggested a hot, sweet latte
back then, what a different world this might be.
(Part of a my third collection, Wood Smoke, issued by Finishing Line Press. To visit the Finishing Line Press site, please click here: