Perhaps, this morning, we’re there,
normal and soon forgotten, as news is
when it’s passed over breakfast, like love,
something that’s always cast, too
heavy to hold for long. We breathe it in,
the bacon, the coffee. We listen to the little
quavers as the local tongues, water over rock,
rise and fall, like stones skipping soft
into the white that smoothed them. The women
speak like grandmothers, softly
opening their mouths, opening
and drawing advice from themselves,
like biscuits, and offering in kindness
a little more than anyone could ask, more
than anyone can take. I know their pitying.
It looks like patience, the look on everyone’s
faces as the peddler shuffles in his blindness,
black hand held open, everyone awaiting
the hiss of door, the whisper in everyone’s
throats, breaking from patience into pleasure.

  • Source: Poetry (February 2017)

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