My friend, artist, poetry lover, and community volunteer Bonnie Jean Flom, recently suggested that today would be the right day to share this poem more widely. Since I always heed Bonnie Jean, here it is. And here’s to the power of friendship, of those small kindnesses that add up to the world we want to inhabit.
Letter to Mrs. Olson
I am a happy wife and must report
my husband makes excellent coffee.
While I didn’t marry him for that skill,
it is a joy to wake to aroma
I have not brewed myself, or over-stewed.
We do not keep Folgers on the shelf but
French-roasted beans in the white freezer,
Grinding them ourselves, gently, a rich few
at a time. Others also make excellent
coffee. It is an open secret now.
We know all the fragrant places and drive
out of our way for the best. Yes, it is
a different world. Sometimes, I feel jittery.
The future looks dark. Then I close my eyes,
sip the brew I’m offered from other hands–
deliciously bitter, something unknown
but needed, a cup I could not fill alone.
(I took the image of the flag and chalk board in the school house relocated to Stone Mountain Plantation, Georgia. The image of coffee, table, and chair is from River Rock Coffee in St. Peter, Minnesota.)
P.S. Beth, I’ll be wearing the socks all day, wiping the dishes, and thinking about those holding hands across the Golden Gate Bridge!
I am excited to share that Third Wednesday, an excellent journal that combines poetry, fiction, photography, and essays on craft and life, has included , “Nomad’s Daughter”, a poem I wrote last spring, in its celebratory 10-year anniversary issue. Of special pleasure is that my friend, Stella Nesanovich, the poet who first introduced me to Third Wednesday, and who some of you know through her recent book, Colors of the River, also has a poem in this issue (“First Dark”). It is an especially sweet experience to have one’s work appear in the same issue with that of a friend.
There was also a small check, a rare event in the life of a working poet, and a testament to the serious way the editorial staff regards the work they review. I am enjoying the work of other poets, writers, and artists. Subscriptions are available at:
Third Wednesday, 11316 Farley Street, Redford, MI 48239
In addition to publishing the journal, Third Wednesday, holds an annual poetry contest. The deadline is in the last week of January each year; three winners will receive not only publication but also a prize of $50. You can send up to three poems (none to exceed two pages) and a $10 contest reading fee to be considered for the prize. (Send your submission to Third Wednesday Contest, Greenside UP, Ypsilanti, MI 48197.)
Do you have some work you’ve been planning to send out? Consider Third Wednesday. You can be sure that your words will be read with respect by experienced editors who are themselves writers.
Wishing you all happy reading and writing in 2017!