Coffee with My Mother By Lynn Katz

I close my eyes and I can see you.
Early, early in the morning pouring from the percolator one-handed
telephone cradled on your shoulder
stretched umbilical cord attached to the wall.

Clutching your favorite lipstick-smeared mug
chipped and blooming psychedelic flowers sipping
the inky liquid, oily surfaced, burnt and bitter
Chock Full O’Nuts on sale . . .

because you believed it was heaven sent.

I open my eyes and I can’t see you.
Early, early in the morning standing in line my fingers sticky
my thumbs jerking as I text and send, text and send
senseless acronyms you wouldn’t understand.

Clutching my Styrofoam cup pumpkin-patterned and
flavored for the season waiting to order a second
Guatemalan roasted skinny-grande-latte-please-hold-the-foam
for half this barista’s hourly wage . . . 

because I want to believe in heaven sent.  

I need to talk to you about coffee and
the way things were and the way things are
and everything you’ve missed
since you sat with your chipped
stained mug by the phone
in a silent kitchen a cigarette dangling
from your tinted lips dialing my number
early, early in the lonely morning
needing to talk to me and wondering
if I had the time . . .

for coffee with my mother.

Lynn Katz is a former teacher and school principal. Her debut novel, The Surrogate, explores the psychological profile of a would-be mass shooter and the high school teacher who tries to help him. Her second novel also deals with serious topics but with a dose of humor and magical thinking. Chester and the Magic 8 Ball is for middle-grade readers and is scheduled for publication in February, 2023. Lynn lives in Connecticut with her husband and when not reading or writing, enjoys hiking, kayaking, and swimming.