On Inauguration Day 2017: Poem “Letter to Mrs. Olson”


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.

Leslie Schultz

(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!

Rosie the Rivetter Socks