Wednesday, November 16, 2005

For Aletta's dad

SEED: "Life is too short for instant coffee"

Last time I saw Gramps,
shrunken some in a nursing home --
he offered me a cup of coffee.
"Sure," I said, instantly taken back
to a farm house kitchen --
scents and sounds of Grandma
always cooking something,
and coffee we couldn't have,
being kids and all.

"I'm not allowed a cooking ring,"
he mumbled while moving to the TV.
From its innards he removed a pot,
slightly warm from chaffing dialogue
on soap operas never really watched --
some noise for company, you understand.

This pot nestled quickly into a close remembered spot
atop a lamp he had rigged, just because he could;
and received an eye-measured dollop
of instant coffee crystals,
with no apologies,
but a sigh scarce held back.

"It'll take a while to perk," he said,
carefully cleaning up such evidence
that might catch a "keeper's" eye;
so we chatted a bit of useless things,
and then of childhood adventures,
and observations on life
without judgment or regret.

It took about an hour -- maybe more
for the coffee to prepare just right --
strained though a sieve like there were grounds
for such concerns and patient care --
into fragile china cups
that had been Her favorites.

"Adele used to always have a fresh cup ready
about this time every afternoon," he mused;
and I stayed until he dozed off
in a spot of afternoon sun --
just because I could.


At 8:29 PM, Blogger aletta said...


At 7:14 PM, Blogger Lois said...

You took me back to my working days when visiting those older ones at home or in small rooms in hostels.....(Only 2 years ago)
I would read the list left for me "What to do for Mrs Jones" No "One to One" contact except perhaps a shower or hot wash......
I would make a pot of tea in a favoured pot ,get out the good china cups,find a good biscuit (The ones that had been put away for the family) Blow them I thought we'll have them now.
Some did the daily crossword ,I helped them find the answers,others loved to pick flowers from the garden,this we did,others liked to go to the local shop ,we did this........
No vacuming done,no floors scrubbed ,change of bed linen if needed ,washing left untill there was a full load for the machine.
Hair brushed,face done with nice cream,nails done and hands massaged ....only 1 hour not enough time
I left my clients (As they are called) I don't use this word.They said goodbye to me at the door,with this..."Can we do it again tomorrow" "Yes" I said well knowing I would not return for another 3 or 4 days ,someone else would come and I would work elsewhere....
Lois (Muse of the Sea)


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