A portrait of the Reader with a Bowl of Cereal
[“A poet…never speaks directly, as to someone at the breakfast table.” Yeats]
Every morning I sit across from you
at the same small table,
the sun all over the breakfast things –
curve of a blue-and-white pitcher,
a dish of berries –
me in a sweatshirt or robe,
Most days, we are suspended
over a deep pool of silence.
I stare straight through you
or look out the window at the garden,
the powerful sky,
a cloud passing behind a tree.
There is no need to pass the toast,
the pot of jam,
or pour you a cup of tea,
and I can hide behind the paper,
rotate in its drum of calamitous news.
But some days I may notice
a little door swinging open
in the morning air,
and maybe the tea leaves
of some dream will be stuck
to the china slope of the hour –
then I will lean forward,
elbows on the table,
with something to tell you,
and you will look up, as always,
your spoon dripping milk, ready to listen.
[Billy Collins, Picnic, Lightning; Pittsburgh, PA: Univ. of Pittsburgh Press, 1998, 3-4]
One of the surest signs that a relationship is in trouble: ignoring a partner’s attempt to get attention.
Looks like these two are doing just fine.