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Ode to a Glass of Milk

August 18, 2012

Cereal is

the downfall of milk.

Each soggy, bran-filled morsel

floating in our bowls

coats the milk,

cakes it, converts it,

makes it other

than itself.

The sweet brown liquid

we pour into our mouths

after the final spoonful

of Cocoa Crispies,

though delicious,

is not,

cannot be

milk.

But milk alone,

unadulterated

by tiny yellow particles

of floating corn flower,

milk

is a thing of beauty, stark and simple.

One sleepless night,

my mother brought me

a warm mug of milk,

a golden-brown swirl of honey

softly disappearing into its white surface.

It would help me sleep,

she said,

her hand on my hair.

I did not sleep,

but after she had gone back to bed,

I made myself another mug,

watching 3:00 a.m. blink on the stove clock

as the microwave hummed.

The sweet, warm density of the milk

soothed me,

helped me to bear

the night.

Milk,

cold

in a glass,

such beauty

eludes me

daily

because I keep the milk

sitting,

pale and lovely,

on the top shelf of the refrigerator

for the sole purpose

of sprucing up my cereal.

But on nights when I remember,

I drink a large glass of it

cold,

quickly,

as overcome by beauty

as I ever am.

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From → poetry

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