Each morning, before
I finish my morning cappuccino,
I scan my email, hoping to find
a perfect poem that has
gone forever unclaimed.
I have enough skill
to alter it sufficiently
that I can safely claim it
as my own, if the owner
ever were to appear,
by adding, After XXXXX.
All I have ever found
is the odd limerick and
frankly I can to better
on my own, not to mention
I have been to Nantucket.
We were walking around Vienna, Wien,
the river cruise boat arriving early,
dropped off into the city center, told
we had precisely two hours to wander,
or we’d make our own way back,
and risk missing lunch and the formal tour.
We wandered, following instructions,
looking in vain for a café where we
could get an Austrian cappuccino, and perhaps
a pastry for which the city was famous,
even though we swore off deserts, but
before noon it could be still breakfast
and well within our supposed rules.
After several wrong turns we ended up
the Schauflergasse, still searching when
we heard the rhythmic clopping of hooves
and stepped quickly from the path
of the regal white stallions, as they
proudly pranced by back to their stables.
We asked the rider in the last rank where
we might find a café and pastry,
and he shouted back at us, “After
seeing us, Vienna has nothing more to offer.
We did find a café shortly after
and sharing an order of powidltascherl
and sipping our melange, we begged
to differ with the Lipizzaner rider.
On a quiet Sunday morning, my cappuccino
in equal measures gone and cooling, I
paused to consider the mug on the table
adjacent to mine, alone, uncared about.
It stared back at me, from its perch
on the coaster pedestal on which it
had been placed so carefully, a bevy
of faces holding my eye trying to tell me what?
It was hard to read their moods, each
much the same as the others, a calm
perhaps, a hint of simple joy, almost
a childishness that begged my attention.
I wanted to ask why the red bows
in their hair, but I knew I’d get no answer,
for they were inscrutable, and that was
how they liked it, lost in a perpetual tease.
They did cause me to muse on why this day
they appeared in an unlikely place, and I
paused to wonder what Ode Keats might
have written in 1819 on this Hello Kitty mug
Next week we will walk along the beach
and periodically stare out on the ocean.
The waves will wash in and out, and one
will look much like the last and the next.
If we get out early enough, perhaps we will
sit outside a café across the road from the beach
and drink our wet cappuccinos and eat our bagels
while watching some 20-something
perform yoga poses on the sand, poses that we
can remember, uncertain how our bodies
ever assumed those postures, certain
to do so again would cause breakage
that would put medicine to an unfair test.
We watch the elderly drivers, question
why they still have licenses to drive, and
to the extent possible, avoid looking in mirrors.