Breakfast Ritual

We’ll never have one.
Never make plans over coffee
to get lost in the anticipation
of our next adventure.
You’ll never stand in the kitchen
making muffins
with the harvest of serviceberries
while I read you the latest bad news
out loud from the newspaper,
which we’ll use to start our campfire
when the sun goes down.
We’ll never marvel at our luck—
how good it was to have arrived
in the universe in the same century
with the same desire to live quietly
among the wild things
that bloom and chirp
and adapt and thrive in a way
that reduces our hubris
to the size of pebbles made smooth
by water and time.
We’ll never know how it feels to hurt
one another with a careless tone,
or an inconsiderate act.
But most regrettably,
my heart will never be expanded
by your experience with loss and love—
which means you’ll never know
how softly my hands can touch
the scars beneath your skin.
And so it’s best to let the fire
burn out and settle into ash
that can be swept away
with the crumbs from those muffins
which I am sure would taste so good.


Photograph by Jack Welpott, 1964

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