In search of story


October 12.22: Coping, but barely

The refined high art of breakfasting

cannot too much be touted;

its value to the day

ought never to be doubted.

In cherry tomato season

it’s especially exact;

one keeps the tomato whole,

juicily intact.

It’s cozied in the mouth

(don’t try to sing or whistle

lest you wing it into orbit,

the oops’d misguided missile)

along with crusty morsel

of sourdough browned just right,

one aims for balanced tandem,

the perfection in the bite.

The delicacy of timing,

simultaneous squirt and crunch,

requires selfless practice

sometimes ’til half-past lunch.


Connections: February 7.17

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERABehold the breakfast table

in homey dishabille

history in the making

gummed with cold oatmeal.

Whither the flowered apron

ironed and daintily bowed,

cloth of bright blue gingham

à la Ozzie and Harriet mode?

How can appetite thrive here

amid such disarray?

Paging Martha Stewart!

Who lives here anyway?




Connections: December 27.16

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAWhen the hurly-burly’s done

wrapping paper war is won

fevered shoppings cease

there seeps a certain peace

the real celebration

the season’s culmination

savoring “Silent Night”

with breakfast

by Christmas tree light.

With apologies to Shakespeare.



Connections: September 16

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAWe started today with a manhunt. Police cars, helicopter, sirens,

and there on the news an aerial view of my neighborhood from that helicopter:

flashing red and blue lights and school buses,

homes with breakfast lights golden through the crepe of morning gray.

How like a transient shadow

the illusion of safety.



Carved in stone

Was this my first mistake? I called them Grandma Bunny and her grandbunnies, and thought they were cuter than Thumper.SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

But I might have been wrong. Maybe not so cute. Who knew rabbits could read?

There are two. Naturally. They interrupt my breakfast with their own. One has good instincts and runs when I appear, stalking in dew-slimed slippers, and armed with my morning coffee. (It is good to be afraid of me before I’ve had morning coffee.) The other stares at me until I get close enough for him to smell the coffee. Then he runs. But only far enough to make me walk more. And so incrementally I escort him to the fence, where he stops to throw a humph over his shoulder before he squeezes under and heads off to other smorgasbords.

I surmise he is the one who thinks he is invisible when he flattens himself into the grass. His mama forgot to teach him to pull in those ears. Seriously, rabbit, do you think I can’t see you?

One morning my rabbit check stunned me: they had disguised themselves. Obviously they were on to me. SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

But I was on to them. I replaced my apparently delectable painted daisy with a bristly rudbeckia. When I heard the loud puh-TOO-ey the next morning in the pre-dawn dark, I knew I’d had my revenge. Take THAT, wretched rabbit!

Last week there was a rustling in the shadow of the chives. When I approached, a bunny took off. Small enough to hide in the herbs, it nimbly darted among the thickets of zinnias and geraniums as I woefully reflected on this new generation of gluttons. Their revenge on me.

I am now looking for a garden ornament that features a recipe for hasenpfeffer.


In praise of the antemeridian

Yes, I’m a morning person. I’m usually eating breakfast around 4:00. Do you gasp in alarm? Get in line. Whenever I’ve revealed my preference for dawn, others seem unsure of my stability. Their response has been consistent: you need help. With touching concern, they offer suggestions on how I can change.

Why is that? I have never felt compelled to change a night person into a morning person. I don’t care that they aren’t up early so why do they care that I am?

The seeds of morningphilia were sown long ago in my Irish Catholic Republican family where Work Ethic meant carpe diem and the earlier the better. Saturday mornings were piano lessons. Sundays (and holydays) the only Masses that counted were the early ones. Thou shalt not sleep in.

But, work ethic aside, I love morning for itself. I hear the first bird stretch and chirp, and chirp turn to chorus. I see my neighborhood emerge from monochromatic blur into silhouettes sharp against the budding day. Sometimes I see one low star in benediction over the dawn. In winter I see snowlight. If it rains, I hear the earliest tires splash through the street and watch first light rainbowed in drops on the window.

When I was young and working, I wrote early-morning letters. Yellow legal pads were my breakfast staple. Now I’m old and not working and I have email. The yellow coffee-splotched letters had more personality, but email has wings.

I do not have wings. I have lead feet, molasses in my veins. I’m a plodder, slow, deliberate, uncertain. Early mornings give me the long on-ramp I need to merge into the day’s traffic.

I love mornings; therefore, I A.M.