Black Coffee at Noon

Black coffee at noon with fellow sufferers.
The bleak cups squeak in our hands.  So do the chairs.
We listen, fidget, smile, occasionally weep
In this ancient ritual of bitterness, joy,
And irritation.  We learn everyday the same
Text for the sermon:  Our compulsion, our need
Push us apart and hold us here—the cup
Ephemeral foam, the grounds at the bottom, the drink
Inside circling the translucent vessel, our fragile
Lives jittery with the freedom of pilgrimage.


Kenneth Fields is a professor of English and creative writing at Stanford University. His collections of poetry are The Other Walker, Sunbelly, Smoke, The Odysseus Manuscripts, and Anemographia: A Treatise on the Wind.
 
tags: Poetry, Poetry & Fiction   
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