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Cathy Coley

Breakfast with Mary Oliver

It's been a while, again.

I've been thinking, and life happens.

Here's a poem.

Breakfast with Mary Oliver

The rain is a deluge for waking,
dark and heavy, a blanket beyond
my blankets.

I move slowly into the kitchen,
dreaming Mary Oliver’s voice,
“Pay attention, that’s what I can do.”
I pour coffee and glance to a covered pan
of last night’s sautéed mushrooms on the stove.
Oh, what a waste.

I won’t waste the cooking of them.
I won’t waste the bit of life left
in them to nourish me.
I crack into them a couple of golden yolk
eggs from my neighbor’s chickens.
So much more present, colorful, flavorful,
than what can be found on a supermarket shelf.

She sells them to me in her driveway.
While we gossip about neighbors,
mostly her in-laws, the chickens swirl,
size me up,
chuckle, gurgle their gossip about us.

As the eggs become more solid
and scramble,
petrichor rises from portabellas
takes me to a forest’s mossy floor.
Somewhere, I am a boar snuffling
at the ground for the deep loamy
flavor under the chaff of
wind and seasons, composting
to grow a delicious morsel.
Some ancient human followed a boar
And found umami mushrooms;
felt the deep roots of the earth's turning
season by season in her mouth, did not die
and became the earth.

I slide the cooked eggs and mushrooms
onto a blue plate.
Sip my coffee once more.
I eat and grow roots.

first draft, 1.24.2019